Utah’s football program made some history Thursday night, recording first-round NFL draft picks in back-to-back years for the first time ever. 

In 2022, linebacker Devin Lloyd went No. 27 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. And Thursday, tight end Dalton Kincaid was the No. 25 selection overall by the Buffalo Bills.

Ute coach Kyle Whittingham likes the spot Kincaid is in as he jumps to the next level. 

“I think Dalton Kincaid is going to be an outstanding NFL player. He’s with a great organization, he’s got a great quarterback to get him the ball,” he said. “They do have a really good No. 1 tight end but (Kincaid) will be a great complement to him.” 

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Whittingham called Kincaid “one of the best five athletes that’s ever come through here, since I’ve been here, which is a pretty good stretch — darn near 30 years. He’s right up there with the Eric Weddles and Alex Smiths and those guys.” 

Kincaid will fit in well with the Bills, Whittingham added. 

“He’s got a bright future,” he said. “He’s in a good situation and they’re going to love him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s an All-Pro in three to five years.”

Two more Utah players — cornerback Clark Phillips III and offensive lineman Braeden Daniels — are expected to be taken in the upcoming rounds of the draft, beginning Friday night. 

“Clark has a very good chance to go tonight in round two or three. Braeden, I think more realistically, is probably tomorrow, four through seven. Hopefully closer to four than seven. But we’ll see,” Whittingham said. “You never know what those teams are thinking.

“As you always say, it only takes one team to really like you to make the difference. We’re hoping that both of those guys go. Clark could go as high as the second round tonight and Braeden could probably go as high as the fourth round tomorrow. So we’re excited for them.”

Utah Utes cornerback Clark Phillips III glides into the end zone after intercepting a pass against Oregon State.
Utah Utes cornerback Clark Phillips III glides into the end zone for a touchdown after intercepting a pass as Utah and Oregon State play at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. Phillips could well find out what NFL team he will be playing for during the second and third rounds of the NFL draft tonight. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News