NFL mock draft roundup: Will Utah or BYU have more NFL draft selections this year?
Close to a dozen players from Utah, BYU and various Utah high schools could hear their names called during the 2023 NFL draft
All three days of this year’s NFL draft are expected to be busy for Utah ties, if mock drafts are to be believed.
There are close to a dozen prospects with Utah ties who could hear their name called when the draft takes place later this month in Kansas City (April 27-29).
A look at recent mock drafts helps give a better perspective of when players from Utah, BYU and a few Utah high schools may come off the board.
For this roundup, the Deseret News found mock drafts of varying lengths.
There are 10 first round only mock drafts released in the past week from various national writers: The Athletic’s Diante Lee, CBS Sports’ Will Brinson, NFL.com’s Charles Davis, CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco, For The Win’s Christian D’Andrea, Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson, NFL Network’s Rhett Lewis, Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso and NBC Sports’ Eric Froton.
Eight other mock drafts of varying lengths were also used: there are two two-round mock drafts (ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Draft Network’s Jack McKessy), two three-round mock drafts (Athlon Sports’ Luke Easterling and The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Eddie Brown), a four-round mock draft (NFL.com’s Chad Reuter), a five-round mock draft (Walter Football’s Charlie Campbell) and two seven-round mock drafts (Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer and Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings).
Here’s a look at the results:
|Diante Lee, The Athletic||1||26||Dallas Cowboys|
|Will Brinson, CBS Sports||1||10||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Charles Davis, NFL.com||1||15||Green Bay Packers|
|Pete Prisco, CBS Sports||1||18||Detroit Lions|
|Sam Monson, Pro Football Focus||1||15||Green Bay Packers|
|Rhett Lewis, NFL Network||1||18||Detroit Lions|
|Tony Pauline, Pro Football Network||1||18||Detroit Lions|
|Eric Froton, NBC Sports||1||26||Dallas Cowboys|
|Mel Kiper, ESPN||1||15||Green Bay Packers|
|Jack McKessy, Draft Network||1||21||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Luke Easterling, Athlon Sports||1||17||Green Bay Packers|
|Eddie Brown, The San Diego Union-Tribune||1||26||Dallas Cowboys|
|Chad Reuter, NFL.com||1||26||Dallas Cowboys|
|Charlie Campbell, Walter Football||1||26||Dallas Cowboys|
|Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News||2||38||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||1||27||Buffalo Bills|
Of note: There’s an emerging group of teams that many experts see being in the market for Kincaid, chief among them the Cowboys, Packers and Lions.
Of the 10 first round only mock drafts used for this article, two of them didn’t include Kincaid, but he is largely seen as a mid first-round to early second-round selection.
|Mel Kiper, ESPN||2||47||Washington Commanders|
|Luke Easterling, Athlon Sports||3||79||Indianapolis Colts|
|Eddie Brown, The San Diego Union-Tribune||3||68||Denver Broncos|
|Chad Reuter, NFL.com||3||99||San Francisco 49ers|
|Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News||3||69||Los Angeles Rams|
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||2||36||Kansas City Chiefs|
Of note: The five-round mock draft from Walter Football didn’t include Freeland. Otherwise, the others see the 6-foot-8, 305-pound lineman as a solid candidate to go on Day 2 of the draft.
|Jack McKessy, Draft Network||2||46||New England Patriots|
|Luke Easterling, Athlon Sports||2||57||New York Giants|
|Eddie Brown, The San Diego Union-Tribune||3||69||Los Angeles Rams|
|Chad Reuter, NFL.com||4||111||Cleveland Browns|
|Charlie Campbell, Walter Football||2||60||Cincinnati Bengals|
|Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News||2||36||Los Angeles Rams|
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||3||64||Chicago Bears|
Of note: Phillips is seen as a strong Day 2 draft candidate, and in one instance — with Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer — he is the first Ute to come off the board.
|Jack McKessy, Draft Network||2||54||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Luke Easterling, Athlon Sports||3||65||Houston Texans|
|Eddie Brown, The San Diego Union-Tribune||2||54||Los Angeles Chargers|
|Chad Reuter, NFL.com||4||121||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Charlie Campbell, Walter Football||3||80||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News||2||32||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||3||100||Las Vegas Raiders|
Of note: The former Baylor and LSU defensive tackle is a popular pick to be a Day 2 draftee.
|Luke Easterling, Athlon Sports||3||89||New York Giants|
|Eddie Brown, The San Diego Union-Tribune||2||59||Buffalo Bills|
|Chad Reuter, NFL.com||2||48||Detroit Lions|
|Charlie Campbell, Walter Football||3||72||Tennessee Titans|
|Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News||3||70||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||3||80||Pittsburgh Steelers|
Of note: The former Oregon standout, similarly, is seen as a likely Day 2 selection, with NFL.com’s Chad Reuter predicting he will be paired in Detroit with brother and offensive tackle Penei Sewell, a first-round selection in 2021.
|Eddie Brown, The San Diego Union-Tribune||3||78||Green Bay Packers|
|Chad Reuter, NFL.com||4||109||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News||6||194||Detroit Lions|
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||5||145||Carolina Panthers|
Of note: Where Daniels will be selected is tough to pin down — some projections have him going off the board on Day 2, while others believe he is a mid-to-late-round selection.
|Charlie Campbell, Walter Football||4||123||Seattle Seahawks|
|Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News||4||123||Seattle Seahawks|
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||6||193||Washington Commanders|
Of note: Hall is largely seen as a Day 3 prospect — from these projections, both the Seahawks and Commanders are places where he could back up the team’s starter for awhile with the chance to take over down the line.
|Charlie Campbell, Walter Football||5||146||New Orleans Saints|
|Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News||4||127||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||5||156||Los Angeles Chargers|
Of note: The former Alabama tight end, who was recruited as a linebacker out of Olympus, is now projected to be a Day 3 pick at an offensive skill position after growing into the position with the Crimson Tide.
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||4||129||Dallas Cowboys|
Of note: A fourth-round selection seems high for Nacua, though the former Cougar is an intriguing prospect who could come off the board sometime on the draft’s final day.
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||5||162||Indianapolis Colts|
Of note: The transfer from Florida could give Utah another late-round selection after impressing at Utah’s pro day.
|Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network||7||243||New York Giants|
Of note: Hayes ran a 4.31-second 40 at BYU’s pro day, and that performance could be enough for a team to take a late-round flier on him.
One final note
One mock draft, from Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer, had former Utah running back Tavion Thomas being selected in the fourth round (No. 103 overall). Earlier this week, Thomas, the Utes’ leading rusher the past two seasons, was arrested for investigation of two incidents of domestic violence. He is scheduled for a hearing April 21.