The first NFL virtual draft did not disappoint. 255 players were drafted from all around the nation. Let’s look at how the numbers compare to the other 94 colleges around the nation.
13: Of all the 42 states with colleges that had players, the Beehive State had the 13th most athletes selected in the draft.
8: Utah had a total of 8 athletes. 7 were Utes and the lone Aggie was the only player from the state to be selected in the 1st round. Almost half of the first round draft picks were from the powerhouse SEC conference and the Aggie quarterback was the lone player selected in the first round from a non-power conference.
The states just ahead of Utah were Georgia, Indiana and Pennsylvania with 10 athletes selected. Oregon and Tennessee were just behind with 7 athletes each.
4: USU star Jordan Love was the fourth rated quarterback in the draft and was the only quarterback drafted from the state of Utah. He was also the only athlete from a Utah school drafted in the first round. He was picked 26th by the Green Bay Packers who moved up a couple of spots and traded a fourth round pick to secure his services.
7: Jaylon Johnson was the 7th ranked cornerback in the NFL Draft and the second player in Utah taken off the board. He was drafted 50th by the Chicago Bears. He was the only player from the state to be drafted in the second round. He finished his career at Utah with 7 interceptions and returned 2 for touchdowns.
His combine results were solid but just not first round material. He ran a 4.5 in the 40 yard dash but guys like CJ Henderson who was drafted 9th in the first round by the Jacksonville Jaguars ran a 4.39. He also had 5 more reps on the bench press (20), and an inch higher vertical (37.5) than Johnson. Johnson can still become a starter for a tough defensive team like the Bears if he continues to work hard.
85 and 86: The Utes were one of just four colleges to have two consecutive player drafted back to back. Julian Blackmon (Safety) was drafted 85th by the Indianapolis Colts. Right after that Zack Moss (Running Back) was drafted by the Buffalo Bills.
The other three teams to have two players drafted consecutively were:
2nd: DB – Chase Young (by the Redskins)
3rd: CB Jeff Okudah (by the Lions)
138th: S – L’Jarius Sneed (by the Chiefs)
139th: CB – Amik Robertson (by the Raiders)
152nd: S – Kenny Robinson (by the Panthers)
153rd: OT – Colton McKivitz (by the 49ers)
21: It’s been 21 years since the Rams won a Super Bowl. That was when they were in St. Louis. They’ve never won one while in Los Angeles. Terrell Burgess, a Safety out of Utah, hopes to help them change that. The Rams lost in the Super Bowl last year to the Patriots. They look to compete in a tough division against the Seahawks and 49ers. In the last 11 years all four teams in the NFC West have made Super Bowl appearances with only the Seahawks coming away victorious in 2014.
5,877: It is 5,877 miles from Tonga (where Leki Fotu’s parents were born) to Herriman, Utah (where he grew up). Fotu was drafted 115th by the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth round. He was the 11th defensive tackle selected in the draft.
1.2 Billion: That’s how much it cost to build AT&T Stadium. Bradlee Anae was selected 179th in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Cowboys. He will have the chance to compete for playing time in front of 80,000 fans. He grew up in Laie, Hawaii and played defensive end for the Utes. While there don’t seem to be a lot of Ute fans cheering for the Cowboys, at least a couple will be now.
197: John Penisini was the last player drafted out of the state of Utah. He was drafted 197th in Round 6. The Ute Defensive Tackle started at West Jordan High School before making noise at one of the best defensive teams in the PAC-12. Penisini will definitely have a chip on his shoulder as he looks to prove all the teams that passed on him wrong.