by Lucas Treat (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Even though they didn't hear their name called during the seven round of the NFL Draft, several standout football players from around the area are still finding their way into the league.
Jake Knott, a linebacker from Iowa State, signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite playing in just eight games, Knott earned first-team All-Big 12 honors for the second straight season. The Waukee native finished his career with 347 tackles and an all-time Cyclone linebacker best eight interceptions.
James Vandenberg, the starting quarterback for Iowa the past two seasons, signed a deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Vandenberg threw for 25 touchdown and 3,022 yards his junior season but his production dropped to seven touchdowns and 2,2249 in his senior year. The 6'3" Keokuk native was one of the best passers in Iowa high school history, as he holds 10 different passing records including career touchdown passes and single season touchdown passes.
Ben Cotton, a tight end for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, signed a contract with the San Diego Chargers. Cotton hauled in 503 yards and three touchdowns over his career in Lincoln and was an All Big Ten honorable-mention.