Iowa defensive end Desmond King returns a kick return during the Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. Stanford defeated Iowa, 45-16. (The Daily Iowan/Margaret Kispert)

Three Hawkeyes selected in Day 3 of NFL Draft


Iowa fans didn’t need to wait long on the third day of the NFL Draft to hear a Hawkeye’s name called.

Minnesota, using pick No. 2 of the fourth round from the trade from San Francisco, drafted defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson.

The pick was part of the deal in which the 49ers shipped off draft picks in order to move up and select former Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard in the third round.

Johnson, tabbed as “one of the most explosive interior pass-rushers of this 2017 class” by ESPN’s Steve Muench, was the ninth-best defensive tackle in the draft, according to ESPN, and he ended up being the 10th player picked at his position.

The Vikings’ selection comes after they allowed the 20th-most rushing yards per game in 2016.

San Francisco drafted its second Hawkeye this year, taking tight end George Kittle with the second pick in the fourth round.

Kittle was ESPN’s 10th-best tight end in the draft.

ESPN’s Kevin Weidl noted that the 6-4, 247-pound Kittle possesses “raw athleticism” and drew attention with the idea of becoming a versatile player – potentially playing snaps at tight end, fullback, and contributing on special teams.

Kittle snagged 22 passes for 314 yards in 2016, with 4 touchdowns. The season before, he hauled in 6 scores.

Desmond King, who many projected to be drafted anywhere between the second and fourth round, fell to the fifth to the Los Angeles Chargers with pick No. 151.

The 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner recorded 58 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 1 touchdown in 2016.

His numbers dropped from his 72-tackle, 8-interception 2015 campaign, as most teams elected to avoid throwing in his direction.

“He is a playmaker with better quickness than speed and good instincts,” Meunch wrote in his analysis on King.

The Chargers ranked 20th in passing yards per game last season but did tie for the league-high in interceptions (18), hoping to add another ball-hawk to its secondary.

King was the draft’s 21st cornerback to be taken off the board despite being ranked as ESPN’s 12th-best corner.

Riley McCarron was not selected in the NFL draft but signed with the Houston Texans.

The senior snagged 42 passes for 517 yards and 4 touchdowns last season and dazzled scouts after running a 4.36 40-yard dash and jumping 40.5 inches in his vertical test.

Cornerback Greg Mabin found a home in Florida, signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Offensive lineman Cole Croston signed with the New England Patriots.

LeShun Daniels Jr. joined Croston on the defending Super Bowl champions’ squad.

— Adam Hensley

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