It’s expected to be a good NFL draft for prospects with Utah ties.

That got started Thursday night in the first round, when Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid went No. 25 overall to the Buffalo Bills.

And, unlike last year, when no Utah ties were selected during the draft’s second day, there are a trio of Utah prospects who are strong candidates to be taken during the second or third round of the 2023 draft.

What you need to know about the 2023 NFL draft
Why Utah tight end, and first-round pick, Dalton Kincaid could contribute right away in Buffalo
The final mock drafts are in. What BYU, Utah and local players are projected to be NFL draft picks?

There will be 71 total picks made on Friday: 32 in the second round and 39 more in the third round.

Round 2 begins at 5 p.m. MDT and will be televised on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network.

Here’s where the top available Utah prospects sit on big boards heading into Friday’s Rounds 2 and 3.

Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

ESPN’s best available: No. 8 among cornerbacks.’s best available: No. 8 among cornerbacks.

CBS Sports’ best available: No. 7 among cornerbacks

Cornerbacks taken in first round: 4 (Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon — No. 5 to Seattle Seahawks; Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes — No. 16 to Washington Commanders; Oregon’s Christian Gonzales — No. 17 to New England Patriots; Maryland’s Deonte Banks — No. 24 to New York Giants).

Phillips in Day 2 mock drafts, Lance Zierlein: Round 3, No. 65 overall to Houston Texans. 

The Athletic, Dane Brugler: Round 3, No. 68 overall to Denver Broncos.

CBS Sports, Christ Trapasso: Round 3, No. 84 overall to Miami Dolphins. 

Pro Football Focus, Jon Kosko: Round 3, No. 72 overall to Tennessee Titans.

Quick take: Phillips is likely the next Utah tie off the board — not only do Day 2 mock drafts have him being a third-round selection, he shows up in or near the top 50 of the best remaining talents on the board in multiple best-available lists. USA Today’s Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz had Phillips as the No. 37 overall prospect before the draft, and now 10th among the best available. 

“It’s all about instincts for Phillips, who tapped into his quick-developing recognition and rapid closing speed to nab six interceptions last year,” Middlehurst-Schwartz said in his predraft analysis.

Siaki Ika, DT, East High

ESPN’s best available: No. 4 among defensive tackles.’s best available: No. 3 among defensive tackles.

CBS Sports’ best available: No. 11 among defensive tackles.

Defensive tackles taken in first round: 4 (Georgia’s Jalen Carter — No. 9 to Philadelphia Eagles; Pittsburgh’s Calijah Kancey — No. 19 to Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Michigan’s Mazi Smith — No. 26 to Dallas Cowboys; Clemson’s Bryan Bresee — No. 29 to New Orleans Saints).

Ika in Day 2 mock drafts, Lance Zierlein: Not selected. 

The Athletic, Dane Brugler: Round 3, No. 85 overall to Los Angeles Chargers.

CBS Sports, Christ Trapasso: Round 3, No. 86 overall to Baltimore Ravens.

Pro Football Focus, Jon Kosko: Round 3, No. 70 overall to Las Vegas Raiders.

Quick take: Ika leads a trio of projected draft picks who played their high school ball in Utah but played collegiately out of state — the others include Orem High linebacker Noah Sewell and Olympus High tight end Cameron Latu.

In his predraft analysis of Ika, ESPN’s Steve Muench wrote, “Ika makes more of an impact on tape than his stats suggest. He is a massive defensive tackle who is difficult to seal and move with one man.”

Blake Freeland, OT, BYU and Herriman High

ESPN’s best available: No. 5 among offensive tackles.’s best available: No. 7 among offensive tackles.

CBS Sports’ best available: No. 3 among offensive tackles

Offensive tackles taken in first round: 5 (Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. — No. 6 to Arizona Cardinals; Tennessee’s Darnell Wright — No. 10 to Chicago Bears; Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski — No. 11 to Tennessee Titans; Georgia’s Broderick Jones — No. 14 to Pittsburgh Steelers; Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison — No. 27 to Jacksonville Jaguars).

Freeland in Day 2 mock drafts, Lance Zierlein: Round 3, No. 76 overall to New England Patriots. 

The Athletic, Dane Brugler: Not selected.

CBS Sports, Christ Trapasso: Not selected. 

Pro Football Focus, Jon Kosko: Round 3, No. 102 overall to San Francisco 49ers.

Quick take: Freeland represents what is seen likely as BYU’s highest draft pick this season, though there are varied opinions where he will come off the board. Some mock drafts have him being selected in as high as the third round, while others see Freeland falling to perhaps the fifth round. 

One team that has been linked to Freeland several times throughout the predraft process has been the 49ers, whose first pick is late in the third round — they have three of the final four to end the third round. Kosko explained why he sent Freeland to San Francisco, writing, “Freeland is a high-end athlete at the position who has a unique skill set to develop. That showed in the run game, where he earned an 87.9 grade in 2022.”

Other Utah ties to watch

Braeden Daniels, G/T, Utah: Daniels, who’s projected as a mid-round selection, shows up at No. 72 overall and the No. 4 available offensive guard on ESPN’s best available big board. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler rated him the No. 144 overall talent prior to the draft, writing, “His experience at multiple positions is a plus and he grades as a swing tackle/guard with down-the-road starting upside.”

Jaren Hall, QB, BYU and Maple Mountain High: Three quarterbacks went in the top 4 picks in the first round, though guys like Kentucky’s Will Levis and Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker remain on the board heading into Day 2. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said during a TV segment Friday morning that Levis and Hooker should be Round 2 selections — beyond those two, Pelissero listed Hall (No. 4 best available QB on ESPN’s list) and Fresno State’s Jake Haener as possible third-round selections. “He’s dealt with a lot of injuries in his career, but coaches say his tape is really, really fun to watch,” Pelissero said of Hall.

Noah Sewell, LB, Orem High: Sewell entered the draft seen as a Day 3 selection, and little has changed in that regard after only one inside linebacker (Iowa’s Jack Campbell) was taken during the draft’s first round. Sewell is rated No. 10 among available inside linebackers on ESPN’s list.

Cameron Latu, TE, Olympus High: Latu, like Sewell, is viewed as a late-round selection. With only one tight end being selected in the first round — Utah’s Dalton Kincaid to the Buffalo Bills at No. 25 — it would be a surprise to hear Latu’s name called on Day 2.