05 Apr

Iowa’s Cooper DeJean cleared for football activities five months after broken leg, per report

About five months after breaking his fibula, Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean is cleared for football activities. DeJean, who is one of the top defensive prospects heading into the 2024 NFL Draft, sent a letter to all 32 teams in the league, informing them of his progress, according to ESPN.

The 21-year-old will reportedly hold an individual workout at Iowa on April 8, where he will do on-field testing and position work with no restrictions.

While he is one of the top prospects at his position set to enter the NFL, the injury caused debate on when he would be drafted. Now that he is medically cleared, his stock could go up and teams could be interested in taking him sooner than they would have if the injury lingered.

CBS Sports mock drafts have him going anywhere from No. 17 to No. 31, with teams including the Philadelphia Eagles, Jacksonville Jaguars, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers as possible landing spots.

He was unable to participate in the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February, but at the time, he did predict that he would be able to do a workout before the draft took place. His prediction has come true.

Before the season-ending injury in 2023, DeJean had 41 tackles (26 solo, 15 assists), two interceptions, five pass breakups and a punt return for a touchdown. In total, he returned 21 punts for 241 yards.

In 2022, DeJean played in all 13 games, finishing with 75 tackles (56 solo, 19 assists), eight pass breakups with five interceptions, three returned for touchdowns. He received multiple awards, including unanimous consensus All-American.

The versatile player is unsure whether he will play inside or outside in the NFL, noting it is something he has spoken to teams about. DeJean took on multiple roles with Iowa, and whether he will be a cornerback or a safety going forward is something that has yet to be determined.

His strengths include his physicality and return ability, and he can make a play on the ball even if he is initially beat. DeJean sometimes struggles with too much contact when covering a receiver.

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