With the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine underway in Indianapolis and the NFL Draft on tap for next month, the NFL world is indulging in a heavy dose of prospect analysis. One of the most intriguing players in the draft this year is Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean

A broken leg suffered in mid-November will keep DeJean from participating at the combine, but the versatile defensive back will be one of the most coveted defensive players in the draft. DeJean earned consensus First Team All-American honors for the Hawkeyes in 2023 and was a finalist for the Nagurski Award — given annually to the nation’s top defender. As a likely first-round pick, here are the three best NFL Draft destinations for Iowa DB Cooper DeJean.

Scouting Report

Cooper DeJean is the definition of a playmaking defensive back. In 2022, three of his five interceptions resulted in pick-sixes while this year he returned a punt for a touchdown (and had another controversially called back). DeJean has fantastic instincts, diagnosing plays before they happen and using his quickness to shut them down. His elite athleticism helps DeJean blanket opposing wideouts, leading many teams to avoid him altogether in 2023. NFL scouts project him as a hybrid slot corner/safety as he has the speed to stay with receivers and the toughness to be effective in the run game. With his versatility, the Iowa DB should be a mid-to-late first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Good Fits

Green Bay Packers

With needs at both safety and cornerback, the Packers could target a player who can wear both of those hats. Green Bay finished ninth in passing defense despite starting the inexperienced Keisan Nixon most of the season while also trading away Rasul Douglas. Add in impending free agency for each of the Packers' top three safeties (Jonathan Owens, Darnell Savage, and Rudy Ford), and the secondary becomes the primary need for the Packers in the NFL Draft.

The Packers spent a first-round pick last year on Iowa edge rusher Lukas Van Ness and Cooper DeJean is a similarly freakish athlete who can make even more of an immediate impact in the Green and Gold.

Los Angeles Rams

While the Rams have some of the best groups of offensive skill players in the NFL, LA must make some defensive improvements to become a true contender in the NFC again. This team was 19th or worse in total yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and points allowed last season, and the Rams gave up 35 more passing yards in losses versus wins last season.

RECOMMENDED (Article Continues Below)

With starting safeties Jordan Fuller and John Johnson plus number one corner Ahkello Witherspoon all entering free agency, the need for additions in the secondary becomes even more prominent. The Rams play a zone-heavy defense — the perfect scheme for a playmaker like Cooper DeJean to use his vision and speed.

Detroit Lions

The Lions did not have many weaknesses in 2023, but this team did finish 27th in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game. A healthy C.J. Garnder-Johnson at the safety spot will certainly help, but Detroit needs dependable cornerbacks. Both Cam Sutton and Kindle Vildor had Pro Football Focus Player Grades in the “Below Average” category while allowing a passer rating of 112 or worse when targeted.

A true lockdown corner could be the final piece that puts the Lions into Super Bowl contention, and Cooper DeJean fits that bill.