These 15 Utah ties are projected to be NFL starters in 2021
There are currently 90 Utah ties on NFL rosters. That’s a high number of players from the state on NFL rosters at this time of year, 16 more than there were at this time last season.
With NFL teams holding minicamps in the next couple weeks — it’s the only mandatory team practices prior to training camp in late July — there are currently 90 Utah ties on NFL rosters.
That’s a high number of players from the state on NFL rosters at this time of year, 16 more than there were at this time last season.
Recently, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal took his best guess at predicting starters for all 32 NFL teams this season, and 15 Utah ties showed up on that exhaustive list. That represents nearly 17% of the Utah ties in the NFL, and five of those are rookies or second-year players.
Here’s how the 15 projected starters break down:
- 7 played at Utah (of 29 total in the NFL, nearly 25% are projected starters).
- 4 played at BYU (of 26 total in the NFL, 15.3% are projected starters).
- 1 played at Utah State (of 14 total in the NFL, 7% are projected starters).
- 1 played at Weber State (of 4 total in the NFL, 25% are projected starters).
- 5 played at Utah high schools (these can count both for the high school and a local university).
Here’s every Utah tie that Rosenthal projects as a starter, broken down by team:
- Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State
- Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
- Tim Patrick, WR, Utah
- Garett Bolles, LT, Utah, Snow College and Westlake High
Rosenthal says: “It’s outrageous that I had to consider not listing a player as skilled as Tim Patrick as a starter. Patrick had 742 yards last season, proving he can be a quality outside starter. Ultimately, he and second-year slot receiver K.J. Hamler should play supporting roles behind Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy.”
- Penei Sewell, RT, Desert Hills High
Rosenthal says: “Lions head coach Dan Campbell is a strong, powerful man who desires a team of strong, powerful men. And he’s off to a strong start with an offensive line that could rank in the NFL’s top five if first-round pick Penei Sewell pans out.”
- Julian Blackmon, S, Utah and Layton High
Las Vegas Raiders
- Andre James, C, Herriman High
Rosenthal says: “It’s worth noting that the Raiders knew what interior linemen Andre James and Denzelle Good could do before they made big changes. If James and Good struggle, it’s because of poor self-scouting.”
Los Angeles Chargers
- Michael Davis, CB, BYU
Los Angeles Rams
- Terrell Burgess, S, Utah
- Eric Rowe, S, Utah
New England Patriots
- Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
New Orleans Saints
- Marcus Williams, S, Utah
New York Jets
- Zach Wilson, QB, BYU and Corner Canyon High
San Francisco 49ers
- Fred Warner, MLB, BYU
Rosenthal says: “Fred Warner has gone from a third-round pick to a first-team All-Pro. If Dre Greenlaw can improve his coverage skills, San Francisco’s linebackers can rival any duo in football.”
- Bobby Wagner, MLB, Utah State
Rosenthal says: “Bobby Wagner needs to stay Bobby Wagner to keep this entire defense in line.”
Other Utah ties of note mentioned as depth options
Rosenthal also discussed a handful of other Utah ties that, despite not being projected starters, will factor greatly into their team’s plans. Among them included:
- Buffalo Bills: “Zack Moss (RB, Utah) didn’t show enough as a rookie to assume he’ll displace Devin Singletary atop Buffalo’s depth chart. Free-agent acquisition Matt Breida could get in the mix here, as well.”
- Baltimore Ravens: “With Robert Griffin III no longer on the roster, the Ravens are going to roll with Trace McSorley or Tyler Huntley (QB, Utah) as their backup quarterback. General manager Eric DeCosta is excellent at self-scouting, but my professional analysis of the situation is hoo boy.”
- Carolina Panthers: “The Panthers are trying out third-round pick Brady Christensen (OT, BYU and Bountiful High) at a number of positions along the offensive line. In a perfect world, he’ll win the left tackle job over Trent Scott, Greg Little and Cam Erving. If not, I’d expect Christensen to settle at one of the guard spots. Right tackle Taylor Moton, who signed his franchise tag, is the only sure thing on the line.”
- New Orleans Saints: “If it seems like I’m discounting Taysom Hill’s (QB, BYU) chances of winning the outright starting quarterback job, that’s because I am. Hill makes more sense as a changeup and red-zone option, like he was behind Brees. If nothing else, Winston’s arm strength and aggressiveness should open up the play-calling for Payton after the last few years of quarterbacking from late-stage Brees, Taysom and Teddy Bridgewater.”
- Detroit Lions: “I’m looking forward to seeing D’Andre Swift run behind this line, hopefully with more decisiveness in Year 2. But fantasy leaguers should expect backup Jamaal Williams (RB, BYU) to play plenty.”
- Green Bay Packers: “If (Aaron) Rodgers does hold out of training camp, second-year QB Jordan Love (QB, Utah State) has an enviable situation to take over if you just ignore the crushing amount of pressure.”