Iowa defensive back Cooper Dejean (DB06) talks to the media during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa DB Cooper DeJean healthy, certifies ‘freak’ status at pro day

Versatile Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean proved his health and certified his celebrated “freak” status at a pro day workout on Monday.

DeJean spent most of the pre-draft circuit rehabbing his left leg after a season-ending broken fibula in November. Since that practice injury in Iowa City, he was unable to participate in all-star games and the NFL Scouting Combine, instead setting up a private workout for scouts and then blowing them away.

DeJean weighed 202 pounds at just under 6-foot-1, ran in the 4.4s and posted a 10-foot-4-inch broad jump and 38.5-inch vertical, according to results posted by NFL Network from the event.

An All-American cornerback at Iowa, DeJean also starred as a kick returner. Some NFL teams view him as a safety and others anticipate a hybrid role blending responsibilities of a safety, cornerback and slot corner.

“I feel like I have the ability to play multiple different positions on the back end,” DeJean said at the Combine in February.

Speed and suddenness are trademarks that made him one of the top playmakers for the Hawkeyes, whose coaches long advertised DeJean as one of the “freaks” of the program.

–Field Level Media

Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) catches a punt at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, October 21, 2023 in Iowa City. DeJean returned the punt for a touchdown and it was later called back after review ruled he fair-caught the punt.

Report: Iowa DB Cooper DeJean’s leg injury to limit combine participation

Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean will not participate in testing and position drills at the NFL Scouting Combine next week, The Athletic reported on Thursday.

DeJean continues to recover from a season-ending lower left leg injury suffered in practice on Nov. 15. He is ranked No. 22 overall by Field Level Media entering the 2024 draft. He played cornerback and returned kicks for the Hawkeyes but is viewed by some teams as a safety prospect.

A consensus All-American in 2023, DeJean started the first 10 games of the season for Iowa. He had three career interception returns for touchdowns. He did not allow a touchdown in coverage last season.

DeJean’s individual workout could take place next month if he’s deemed medically ready for testing. When he does run the 40 and conduct other on-field tests, DeJean is expected to show elite explosiveness and acceleration scouts have seen at previous testing days in Iowa City along with his on-field play.

Iowa’s pro day is scheduled for March 20, just over one month before the 2024 draft.

DeJean turned 21 last month and is part of a strong cornerback class with the potential to be used as a hybrid defensive back similar to the role of Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton and Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon.

–Field Level Media

Oct 21, 2023; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) looks on during the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa DB Cooper DeJean headed to NFL draft

All-American defensive back Cooper DeJean is entering the 2024 NFL Draft, he announced Thursday, after three years playing for Iowa and its stellar defense.

“These past 3 years have been filled with memories that will last a lifetime,” DeJean wrote in part on X, formerly Twitter. “Putting on the black and gold and playing in Kinnick Stadium has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid and it has been everything I expected and more.

“… Thank you Hawkeye Nation for your continued support. It has been so much fun to play in front of the best fans in the country each and every week.”

DeJean, a potential first-round pick, played in 10 games for Iowa in 2023 before a practice injury in November, reportedly a broken leg, cut short his season. After having five interceptions in 2022 and returning three for touchdowns, DeJean added two picks, five pass breakups and 41 tackles in 2023.

DeJean also returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown in Iowa’s 26-16 win over Michigan State in October.

–Field Level Media