Football

Utah, BYU lead the state of Utah’s NFL representation, which has shrunk

Each summer over the past nine years, the Deseret News has created a master list of Utah ties in the NFL during the offseason. This year, we found 77 Utah ties on an NFL roster. Training camps kick off in full this week.

How does the number of Utah ties on NFL rosters in 2022 compare to past seasons?

The 77 Utah ties on NFL rosters this offseason is down a dozen from last year, when 89 locals dotted rosters.

Prior to that, there were 74 in 2020, 76 in 2019 and 79 in 2018.

During the 2017 offseason, there were 90 Utah ties on NFL rosters during the offseason — the high watermark in recent years.

In 2016, there were 75 Utah ties on rosters during the summer, with 70 in 2015 and 66 in 2014.

The 77 local players on NFL rosters this offseason includes 18 rookies, with three draft picks and 15 undrafted free agents.

Here’s a breakdown of those 77 players (note: they can count towards multiple categories, and a player’s local tie on the FBS/FCS college level is determined by the last Utah school they attended):

26 who played at the University of Utah (down from 29 last year).22 who played at BYU (down from 26 last year).13 who played at Utah State (down from 14 last year).4 who played at Weber State (equal to 4 last year).2 who played at Southern Utah (up from 1 last year).2 who played at Snow College (down from 4 last year).33 who played football at Utah high schools (down from 42 last year).

Keep in mind, the total number of Utah ties in the NFL will shrink significantly over the next few weeks, as teams trim their rosters from 90 (the number of players allowed during the offseason) to 53 for the regular season.

Oftentimes, more than a dozen or so players with Utah ties are waived during training camp or preseason competition. Some will end up on a practice squad somewhere else.

Why are there fewer Utah ties in the NFL this offseason?

Utah and BYU continue to lead the way for Utah ties on NFL rosters, though both schools have seen their representation shrink from a year ago. BYU saw fewer rookies enter the NFL this offseason — just four, including draft pick Tyler Allgeier, are on teams right now — and subsequently has four fewer players in the NFL right now compared to last season. Utah, meanwhile, has nine rookies in the league — including first-round draft pick Devin Lloyd — but an unusually high amount of former Utes are currently free agents, among them former first-round pick Star Lotulelei. (There’s a full list of free agents at the end of the article.)BYU has closed the gap on Utah for representation on NFL rosters — for the second straight year, BYU is within five players of the University of Utah. Back in 2020, Utah had 30 players on NFL offseason rosters, while BYU had just 12. A sizable rookie class in 2021 helped BYU close that gap, and time will tell if BYU can have enough of those players stick around.Utah State has seen its NFL representation dip a little in the past couple years, though the school is routinely seeing a number in the early to mid teens of former players on offseason rosters.Last year was a strong year for Utah high schoolers entering the NFL — there were seven total Utah high schoolers taken in the 2021 draft and a total of 10 Utah high school rookies overall. This year, only seven players who played at Utah high schools are entering the league as rookies.

Who are the 77 Utah ties on NFL rosters this offseason?

Here’s a look at each Utah tie in the NFL, listed by school in alphabetical order:

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson, left, looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.

John Munson, Associated Press

BYU players in the NFL

Player
Pos.
NFL team
Utah high school (if applicable)

Tyler Allgeier
RB
Atlanta Falcons
N/A

Zayne Anderson
S
Kansas City Chiefs
Stansbury

Matt Bushman
TE
Kansas City Chiefs
N/A

Brady Christensen
OT
Carolina Panthers
Bountiful

Michael Davis
CB
Los Angeles Chargers
N/A

James Empey
C
Dallas Cowboys
American Fork

Taysom Hill
TE
New Orleans Saints
N/A

Harvey Langi
LB
New England Patriots
Bingham

Dax Milne
WR
Washington Commanders
Bingham

Kai Nacua
S
New York Jets
N/A

Samson Nacua
WR
Indianapolis Colts
Timpview

Neil Pau’u
WR
Buffalo Bills
N/A

Daniel Sorensen
S
New Orleans Saints
N/A

Sione Takitaki
LB
Cleveland Browns
N/A

Khyiris Tonga
DT
Chicago Bears
Granger

Kyle Van Noy
LB
Los Angeles Chargers
N/A

Fred Warner
LB
San Francisco 49ers
N/A

Troy Warner
S
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
N/A

Chris Wilcox
CB
Indianapolis Colts
N/A

Jamaal Williams
RB
Detroit Lions
N/A

Ty’Son Williams
RB
Indianapolis Colts
N/A

Zach Wilson
QB
New York Jets
Corner Canyon

AP22152679957541.jpg

Baltimore Ravens safety Marcus Williams answers questions during a news conference after an NFL football practice Wednesday, June 1, 2022, in Owings Mills, Md.

Gail Burton, Associated Press

Utah players in the NFL

Player
Pos.
NFL team
Utah high school (if applicable)
Utah junior college (If applicable)

Bradlee Anae
DE
New York Jets
N/A
N/A

Cody Barton
LB
Seattle Seahawks
Brighton
N/A

Jackson Barton
OT
Las Vegas Raiders
Brighton
N/A

Julian Blackmon
FS
Indianapolis Colts
Layton
N/A

Marquise Blair
S
Seattle Seahawks
N/A
N/A

Garett Bolles
OT
Denver Broncos
Westlake
Snow

Terrell Burgess
S
Los Angeles Rams
N/A
N/A

Britain Covey
WR
Philadelphia Eagles
Timpview
N/A

Nick Ford
C
Jacksonville Jaguars
N/A
N/A

Cole Fotheringham
TE
Las Vegas Raiders
N/A
N/A

Leki Fotu
DT
Arizona Cardinals
Herriman
N/A

Matt Gay
K
Los Angeles Rams
Orem
N/A

Javelin Guidry
DB
New York Jets
N/A
N/A

Tyler Huntley
QB
Baltimore Ravens
N/A
N/A

Jaylon Johnson
CB
Chicago Bears
N/A
N/A

Devin Lloyd
LB
Jacksonville Jaguars
N/A
N/A

Zack Moss
RB
Buffalo Bills
N/A
N/A

Bamidele Olaseni
OL
Las Vegas Raiders
N/A
N/A

Tim Patrick
WR
Denver Broncos
N/A
N/A

T.J. Pledger
RB
Arizona Cardinals
N/A
N/A

Hauati Pututau
DT
Green Bay Packers
Cottonwood
N/A

Eric Rowe
S
Miami Dolphins
N/A
N/A

Nephi Sewell
LB
New Orleans Saints
Deseret Hills
N/A

Mika Tafua
DE
Dallas Cowboys
N/A
N/A

Marcus Williams
FS
Baltimore Ravens
N/A
N/A

Mitch Wishnowsky
P
San Francisco 49ers
N/A
N/A

AP22159761798164.jpg

Los Angeles Rams linebacker Bobby Wagner stretches during an NFL mini camp football practice Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

Utah State players in the NFL

Player
Pos.
NFL team
Utah high school (if applicable)
Utah junior college (if applicable)

Jalen Davis
CB
Cincinnati Bengals
N/A
N/A

Kyler Fackrell
LB
Las Vegas Raiders
N/A
N/A

Tipa Galeai
LB
Green Bay Packers
N/A
N/A

Tyler Larsen
C
Washington Commanders
Jordan
N/A

Dallin Leavitt
S
Green Bay Packers
N/A
N/A

Jordan Love
QB
Green Bay Packers
N/A
N/A

Patrick Scales
LS
Chicago Bears
Weber
N/A

Deven Thompkins
WR
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
N/A
N/A

Darwin Thompson
RB
Seattle Seahawks
N/A
N/A

Nick Vigil
LB
Arizona Cardinals
Fremont
N/A

Bobby Wagner
MLB
Los Angeles Rams
N/A
N/A

Jaylen Warren
RB
Pittsburgh Steelers
East
Snow

Derek Wright
WR
Carolina Panthers
N/A
N/A

AP21356857297174.jpg

Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson (24) rushes the passer during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Orchard park, N.Y., Sunday Dec. 19, 2021.

Jeffrey T. Barnes, Associated Press

Other college players in the NFL

Player
Pos.
NFL team
College
Utah high school (if applicable)

Braxton Jones
OT
Chicago Bears
Southern Utah
Murray

Miles Killebrew
S
Pittsburgh Steelers
Southern Utah
N/A

Taron Johnson
CB
Buffalo Bills
Weber State
N/A

Sua Opeta
OG
Philadelphia Eagles
Weber State
Stansbury

Rashid Shaheed
WR/RS
New Orleans Saints
Weber State
N/A

Jonah Williams
DE
Los Angeles Rams
Weber State
N/A

AP22067552620374.jpg

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86) celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Seth Wenig, Associated Press

Other Utah high school players in the NFL

Player
Pos.
NFL team
Utah high school

Kaden Elliss
LB
New Orleans Saints
Judge Memorial

Simi Fehoko
WR
Dallas Cowboys
Brighton

Alohi Gilman
S
Los Angeles Chargers
Orem

Porter Gustin
DE
Miami Dolphins
Salem Hills

Andre James
OT
Las Vegas Raiders
Herriman

Bryan Mone
DT
Seattle Seahawks
Highland

Dalton Schultz
TE
Dallas Cowboys
Bingham

Penei Sewell
OT
Detroit Lions
Desert Hills

Noah Togiai
TE
Philadelphia Eagles
Hunter

Jay Tufele
DT
Jacksonville Jaguars
Bingham

AP21311811964819.jpg

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (98) runs onto the field for an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021.

Gary McCullough, Associated Press

Free agents with Utah ties who were on NFL rosters last season

Player
Pos.
Previous NFL team
Utah tie(s)

Tristen Hoge
OG
Denver Broncos
BYU

Bronson Kaufusi
TE
Green Bay Packers
BYU, Timpview

Corbin Kaufusi
OL
San Francisco 49ers
BYU, Timpview

Brian Allen
CB
Cleveland Browns
Utah

Francis Bernard
LB
Dallas Cowboys
Utah, Herriman

Devontae Booker
RB
New York Giants
Utah

Chase Hansen
LB
New Orleans Saints
Utah, Lone Peak

Star Lotulelei
DT
Buffalo Bills
Utah, Bingham, Snow

Jared Norris
LB
Washington Commanders
Utah

Nate Orchard
DE
Washington Commanders
Utah, Highland

Darrin Paulo
OL
Detroit Lions
Utah

Jeremiah Poutasi
OL
Las Vegas Raiders
Utah

Pita Taumoepenu
LB
Denver Broncos
Utah, Timpview

Sam Tevi
OT
Indianapolis Colts
Utah

Dominik Eberle
K
Carolina Panthers
Utah State

Nevin Lawson
CB
Jacksonville Jaguars
Utah State

JoJo Natson
WR/Ret.
Cleveland Browns
Utah State

Jordan Devey
OL
Buffalo Bills
American Fork, Snow

Marcus Kemp
WR
Kansas City Chiefs
Layton

Xavier Su’a-Filo
OG
Cincinnati Bengals
Timpview

John Ursua
WR
Seattle Seahawks
Cedar, Westlake

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