Klein, Hyde taken in 5th round of NFL Draft

NEW YORK – Iowa State linebacker A.J. Klein and Iowa defensive back Micah Hyde were both chosen in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, while Iowa State lineman Carter Bykowski was selected in the seventh round.

Shortly after the draft concluded, several of their teammates joined NFL rosters by way of free agency.

Klein was taken first among the Iowa schools as he was picked by the Carolina Panthers at No. 148 overall.

“I am so excited,” Klein said. “I had talked with Carolina back at the East-West Shrine Game and again with their scouts. I am happy this is over and excited that I will get to play with some great defensive players at Carolina. It is a great organization.”

Hyde went 11 picks later to the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers used their seventh-round choice on Bykowski, who was the 246th player selected.

“I didn’t think I would be drafted,” said Bykowski. “I was fortunate to be in this position. I thought I might have some free agent choices and then the phone rang and I talked to Jim Harbaugh and offensive line coach Mike Solari. It was a short conversation but they were positive and I am looking forward to working in their system.”

Three Cyclones, three Hawkeyes and one Northern Iowa Panther also earned free-agent contracts Saturday.

Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott and Iowa offensive lineman Matt Tobin were both picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles, ISU wide receiver Josh Lenz was signed by the Bears and Cyclone lineman Jake McDonough signed a contract with the New York Jets.

Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg inked a deal with the Minnesota Vikings and Hawkeye wide receiver Keenan Davis has joined the Cleveland Browns.

Northern Iowa wideout Terrell Sinkfield has also been signed by the Miami Dolphins.

Klein was the Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. He finished his Cyclone career with 361 career tackles and returned four interceptions for TDs as well. He was a two-time first-team all-Big 12 choice.

Bykowski started 18 games during his Cyclone tenure.

The last time two Cyclones were drafted in the same year was 2008 when Alvin Bowen and Ahtyba Rubin were picked by Buffalo and Cleveland, respectively.

Hyde was named first-team all-Big Ten this season and was selected as the Big Ten Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year after recording 78 tackles, grabbing three fumble recoveries and snatching an interception.

Hyde is the 52nd player coached by Kirk Ferentz at Iowa to be selected in the NFL Draft. It is the sixth consecutive year that a Hawkeye defensive back has been chosen in the draft.

Last season, Shaun Prater was taken in Round 5 by the Cincinnati Bengals and Jordan Bernstine was selected by the Washington Redskins in Round 7.

Hyde joins two other former Hawkeyes in Green Bay in offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga and defensive lineman Mike Daniels.