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Tyler Allgeier, a remarkable athlete who walked on at BYU, played linebacker and ended up being the best single-season rusher in school history, leads the parade for the Cougars on NFL draft week, which begins on Thursday.

Allgeier may be the only Cougar to be drafted this year. Look for others to sign free-agent contracts.

Cougar Insiders predictions

Question of the week: What is the forecast for BYU football players in this week’s NFL draft?

Jay Drew: It is looking like another meager NFL draft for the BYU Cougars after five players were taken in last year’s draft. Quite likely, running back Tyler Allgeier will be the only former Cougar taken in this year’s draft, and he probably won’t be picked up until the third day, Saturday, in rounds 4-7.

I spoke to Allgeier’s mother, Ester, for a good half-hour on Monday and will have a piece on Tyler’s draft prospects — and his incredible journey from walk-on to NFL draft pick — coming out later this week. Talk about a heartwarming story — if anybody deserves a big NFL payday, it is Tyler Allgeier.

The family doesn’t know which round he will be taken in but hopes he is selected by one of the three California teams — Rams, Chargers, 49ers — or a Western team such as the Las Vegas Raiders or Arizona Cardinals.

Other BYU draft prospects include receivers Samson Nacua and Neil Pau’u, offensive lineman James Empey and defensive lineman Uriah Leiataua. I’m not seeing much buzz for any of those four, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Empey goes in the seventh round. The shame is that a foot injury he suffered against Washington State that ended his senior season probably hurt Empey’s draft stock. Still, the four-year starter is as solid as they come and a true coach on the field for the offensive line. He’s worth a pick, in my opinion.

Dick Harmon: The route running ability of Pau’u is as good as we’ve seen at BYU. In his short time at BYU, Nacua displayed outstanding receiving skills and size. His pro day results were impressive enough to give him a bump with NFL scouts. Empey is a tremendous leader, intelligent and a very knowledgeable center who will be an asset to any team that takes a chance on him.

But this is one draft where the only sure-fire pick is Allgeier. His yards after contact, his ranking as the leading rush scorer in the nation and his size and speed make him an attractive pick for teams who want a power runner with decent speed. In the NFL, running backs don’t last very long, and if Jamaal Williams got a chance and remains in the league, Tyler Allgeier, the school’s single-season rushing leader, will too. 

I think Allgeier surprises folks and will go in at the end of the third round. I think the other BYU players will be picked up as free agents and have a real chance to stick. This year is the product of a very young football team. The NFL will be calling in more frequency next year, especially for BYU’s offensive line corps. 

Cougar Tales

Mark Pope said goodbye to Junior Caleb Lohner and expects Gideon George to return after he measures himself with an NBA evaluation. In the meantime, he has hosted some impressive prospects on the recruiting trail, trying to fill out three roster spots. One of those is 4-star 6-foot-11 Fredrick King from Jamaica who was once a signee of Louisville. He is just 17 years old and it could be down to BYU and Creighton. Antoine Davis is one of the best scoring guards in the country and he scheduled a visit to Provo. Pope is also after Rudi Williams, a transfer from Coastal Carolina.

Here is our story on why the transfer portal has become so big in college sports today.

From the archives

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Zach Wilson’s offseason has been time well spent

From the Twitterverse

Extra Points 

Fanalyst 

Comments from Deseret News readers

“Ainge was the greatest BYU basketball player of all time. He was also a great baseball player and a great golfer. It’s a blessing that he continues to support BYU athletics and have an impact off the field. I would love to see him coaching at BYU. He would have a great effect on any young athletes that come within his influence.”

— sls

“Yay! Let’s get more shoes for Gideon to send home.

“Although they’ll be young, I feel good about the guards with Johnson, Stewart, Brown, Hall, Saunders and Toolson. A lot of talent. The wing will be a strength with George, Knell, and Knight. Solid at the 4 with Fouss, but wish we had Lohner as his backup (probably why he’s transferring, knew he would be behind Fouss). Knight and George can fill in at the four for small ball. I think we’ll see big growth from Atiki at 5, but we really need a back-up center, he’s prone to foul trouble. Any 6’10” guys on the football team who want to get in shape?

“Any news on Sean East? Any other insights who else BYU is going after in the portal? I was disappointed when I saw Isaac Johnson go to USU. I thought he’d be a good back-up for Atiki, and a chance to play with his brother.”

— CougfaninTex

Up next 

April 27 | 3 p.m. | Softball | vs. SUU | @Cedar City

April 28 | TBA | Men’s tennis | WCC Tournament | @San Diego

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April 29, 30 | TBA | Men’s golf | WCC Tournament | @Las Vegas

April 28 | 1 p.m. | Baseball | vs. San Francisco | @San Francisco

April 29 | 1 p.m. | Baseball | vs. San Francisco | @San Francisco

April 30 | 1 p.m. | Baseball | vs. San Francisco | @San Francisco

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