Tracking former Hawkeyes after weekend NFL roster cuts

Several former Iowa football players were on the bubble of making a professional roster.


Katie Goodale

Defensive-back Geno Stone warms-up during Iowa football vs. Miami (Ohio) at Kinnick Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019. Iowa defeated the Miami (Ohio) 38-14.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

Cuts were made around the NFL over the weekend as teams trimmed their rosters down to 53 players. Caught in the middle of those decisions were several former Hawkeyes.

Many former Iowa players who may have been on the roster bubble secured a spot on their team’s final 53-man roster, while others ended up signing to the practice squad. Additional players were released and are currently free agents looking for another shot in the NFL.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no preseason NFL games were played this summer and training camp rosters were limited — making the circumstances for players on the bubble of a roster even more difficult.

Four rookie Hawkeyes land on NFL rosters

It’s no surprise that offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), defensive lineman A.J. Epenesa (Buffalo Bills), or cornerback Michael Ojemudia (Denver Broncos) made their respective NFL rosters. They were first, second, and third-round picks, respectively, in the 2020 NFL Draft.

What may have been unexpected to some is that defensive back Geno Stone made the Baltimore Ravens’ roster as a rookie seventh-round draft pick.

Stone took a chance by leaving Iowa with a year of eligibility remaining. Now he’s earned a spot in the secondary for a team that went 14-2 last regular season.

RELATED: Former Hawkeye safety Geno Stone ‘ready’ to play in NFL

Stanley, Welch among Iowa players on practice squads

Quarterback Nate Stanley was released by the Minnesota Vikings over the weekend before being signed to the team’s practice squad. Stanley was a seventh-round pick by the Vikings in the 2020 draft and is one of two quarterbacks the team added to its practice squad.

Kristian Welch was an undrafted free agent in April following his college career as a run-stuffing linebacker for the Hawkeyes. Welch was one of the Ravens’ final cuts, but the rookie seemed to have made an impression in training camp as he was quickly brought back on the practice squad.

Another undrafted free agent, defensive lineman Cedrick Lattimore, was one of 16 players to make the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad. Lattimore was released from the team’s roster before being added back to the practice squad.

Other Hawkeye headlines from cut-down weekend

  • Former Iowa defensive lineman Matt Nelson made the Detroit Lions’ 53-man roster as an offensive lineman. Nelson, listed by Detroit at 6-foot-7, 313 pounds, was an undrafted free agent in the 2019 NFL Draft and switched positions once he got into the league. He spent last season on Detroit’s practice squad and now gives the team depth at offensive tackle.
  • Defensive backs Jake Gervase (Los Angeles Rams) and Greg Mabin (Cincinnati Bengals) and tight end Nate Wieting (Miami Dolphins) did not make their respective teams over the weekend. Gervase is a candidate for the Rams’ practice squad, which he was on for the 2019 season. Wieting, a rookie who also spent time with the Browns earlier this summer, has not been reported to have signed on any practice squad. Mabin appeared in nine games for the Bengals last season and is currently a free agent.
  • Offensive lineman Ross Reynolds was waived by the San Francisco 49ers over the weekend. He was not claimed on waivers and reverted back to the 49ers and was then placed on injured reserve.
  • Offensive lineman Andrew Donnal was placed on injured reserve by the Indianapolis Colts, but then reached an injury settlement with the team and is currently a free agent.


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