Ihmir Smith-Marsette taken by Vikings in fifth round of NFL Draft
First time an Iowa receiver under Kirk Ferentz picked higher than sixth round
By Tyler Devine
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Ihmir Smith-Marsette became the second former Hawkeye to be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft, and the fourth Iowa receiver to be selected under Kirk Ferentz.
Smith-Marsette, a native of Newark, N.J., was taken by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round on Saturday, and with 157th overall pick.
He also was selected one spot ahead of former Iowa All-America defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon, who was taken by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round, and with the 158th pick overall.
Former Iowa defensive end Chauncey Golston was the first Hawkeye to be selected in this year’s draft as the Dallas Cowboys picked him in third round on Friday.
Smith-Marsette was named the Big Ten Specialist of the Year in 2018 after averaging nearly 30 yards per kick return.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Smith-Marsette had 3,409 career all-purpose yards at Iowa, which ranks 10th all-time.
His best season as a receiver was as a junior year when he had 44 receptions for 722 yards and five touchdowns.
Smith-Marsette is the only Iowa receiver under Kirk Ferentz to be picked higher than the sixth round.
Kevin Kasper was selected by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round in 2000, while Kahlil Hill was taken by the Atlanta Falcons in the sixth round in 2002, and Marvin McNutt was picked in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012.