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Utah or BYU: Who has more players on NFL active rosters after cutdown day?

There are 52 Utah ties currently on NFL active rosters

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Cleveland Browns linebacker Mohamoud Diabate reacts during the NFL preseason football game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cleveland Browns linebacker Mohamoud Diabate reacts during NFL preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023, in Philadelphia. The former Ute linebacker went undrafted but earned a roster spot afte a strong preseason.

Chris Szagola, Associated Press

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect transactions involving Utah ties after Tuesday’s NFL cutdown deadline.

Thanks in part to a pair of undrafted rookies who beat the odds, there are 52 Utah ties currently on NFL active rosters.

After going undrafted, former Utah linebacker Mohamoud Diabate used a solid preseason to make the Cleveland Browns’ active roster.

So, too, did former BYU running back Chris Brooks with the Miami Dolphins.

Meanwhile, 21 other Utah ties weren’t as fortunate — 19 of them were either waived or released by their respective teams Tuesday, while two others were placed on reserve lists.

Zayne Anderson, the former BYU and Stansbury High standout, was among those cut Tuesday, but he quickly joined another roster when he was claimed off waivers by the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday.

Two former Utah State stars were also involved in post-cutdown moves: wide receiver Derek Wright was released from the active roster by the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday, while center Tyler Larsen re-signed to the Washington Commanders active roster on Thursday.

Making the initial active roster for those who survived the cut doesn’t guarantee a spot on the 53-man roster come Week 1 — over the next several days, teams will sign players to their practice squad and add others to their active roster from a pool of free agents who were waived during the cutdown process, like Anderson.

Still, for the 52 Utah ties who currently have a spot on an active roster in the NFL, that’s one step closer to contributing on the field this season.

For less than 24 hours, the University of Utah held the edge with 15 players on active rosters following Tuesday’s cutdowns. With Anderson’s addition Wednesday, though, BYU is tied with the Utes at 15 players each.

The Cougars have closed the gap in recent years — last season, BYU had 11 players on initial 53-man rosters, compared to 16 for Utah. The year before that, it was a 21-13 edge for the Utes.

Utah State currently has eight players on active rosters, followed by Weber State at four and Southern Utah at two. Among Utah ties, 26 attended a Utah high school.

There are also six Utah ties on reserve lists, including four Utes.

The number of Utah ties currently on an active roster is up from 48 last season and just below the 53 from two years ago. It also maintains an upward trend, after there were 49 in 2020, 45 in 2019 and 38 in 2018


Miami Dolphins running back Chris Brooks carries the ball during NFL preseason game against the Jaguars, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. Brooks went undrafted in the 2023 NFL draft but beat the odds and earned a spot on the Dolphins’ 53-man roster.

Gary McCullough, Associated Press

There are several intriguing Utah-based storylines to watch coming out of the final cuts:

  • Nine rookies with Utah ties made it onto an initial 53-man roster, including the aforementioned two undrafted rookies. Guys like former Utah tight end Dalton Kincaid (with the Buffalo Bills) and former BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua (with the Los Angeles Rams) are expected to make an impact early in their careers. 
  • With veterans like Kyle Van Noy and Daniel Sorensen currently free agents, 10 of BYU’s 15 active roster players are on the offensive side of the ball. The most interesting storyline to watch among those offensive players is likely former BYU teammates Jamaal Williams and Taysom Hill reuniting, after Williams joined Hill in New Orleans.
  • Utah is a little more spread out among its players on active rosters — four are on offense, nine on defense and two on special teams. There are a couple of Utes, though, who landed on practice squads that could be active roster elevations or additions during the 2023 season — return specialist Britain Covey with the Philadelphia Eagles and safety Eric Rowe with the Panthers.
  • There are two notable Utah State alums who will be in the spotlight throughout the year. Jordan Love is finally taking over for Aaron Rodgers as Green Bay’s starting quarterback, giving him his first chance to prove what he can do in his fourth year in the league. Veteran linebacker and All-Pro Bobby Wagner, meanwhile, has returned to the Seattle Seahawks after a one-year hiatus.
  • Three brothers from Utah made initial 53-man rosters — Detroit Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell is headed into his third pro season, while linebacker Nephi Sewell spent last season on the New Orleans Saints practice squad, but a strong offseason helped him land on the team’s active roster to start this year. The youngest brother, linebacker Noah Sewell, was drafted this season by the Chicago Bears.

Utah ties on initial 53-man NFL rosters in 2022

Here’s a breakdown of the 52 Utah ties on NFL active rosters right now:


San Francisco 49ers linebacker Fred Warner celebrates after sacking Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Easton Stick during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Godofredo A. Vásquez, Associated Press


Name | Position | Team | Utah tie(s)

  • Tyler Allgeier | RB | Atlanta Falcons | BYU.
  • *Zayne Anderson | S | Green Bay Packers | BYU and Stansbury High.
  • Chris Brooks | RB | Miami Dolphins | BYU.
  • Brady Christensen | OG | Carolina Panthers | BYU and Bountiful High.
  • Michael Davis | CB | Los Angeles Chargers | BYU.
  • Blake Freeland | OT | Indianapolis Colts | BYU and Herriman High.
  • Jaren Hall | QB | Minnesota Vikings | BYU and Maple Mountain High.
  • Taysom Hill | TE | New Orleans Saints | BYU.
  • Dax Milne | WR | Washington Commanders | BYU and Bingham High.
  • Puka Nacua | WR | Los Angeles Rams | BYU and Orem High.
  • Sione Takitaki | LB | Cleveland Browns | BYU.
  • Khyiris Tonga | DT | Minnesota Vikings | BYU and Granger High.
  • Fred Warner | LB | San Francisco 49ers | BYU.
  • Jamaal Williams | RB | New Orleans Saints | BYU.
  • Zach Wilson | QB | New York Jets | BYU and Corner Canyon High.

* Anderson was claimed off waivers by the Green Bay Packers, one day after being waived by the Buffalo Bills.


Baltimore Ravens safety Marcus Williams works out during his team’s NFL football training camp, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023, in Owings Mills, Md.

Julio Cortez, Associated Press

University of Utah

Name | Position | Team | Utah tie(s)

  • Cody Barton | LB | Washington Commanders | Utah and Brighton High.
  • Julian Blackmon | S | Indianapolis Colts | Utah and Layton High.
  • Garett Bolles | OT | Denver Broncos | Utah, Snow College and Westlake High.
  • Mohamoud Diabate | LB | Cleveland Browns | Utah.
  • Leki Fotu | DT | Arizona Cardinals | Utah and Herriman High.
  • Matt Gay | K | Indianapolis Colts | Utah and Orem High.
  • Tyler Huntley | QB | Baltimore Ravens | Utah.
  • Jaylon Johnson | CB | Chicago Bears | Utah.
  • Dalton Kincaid | TE | Buffalo Bills | Utah.
  • Devin Lloyd | LB | Jacksonville Jaguars | Utah.
  • Zack Moss | RB | Indianapolis Colts | Utah.
  • Clark Phillips III | CB | Atlanta Falcons | Utah.
  • Nephi Sewell | LB | New Orleans Saints | Utah and Desert Hills High.
  • Marcus Williams | S | Baltimore Ravens | Utah.
  • Mitch Wishnowsky | P | San Francisco 49ers | Utah.


Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner is pictured during an NFL preseason football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 22-14.

Stephen Brashear, Associated Press

Utah State

Name | Position | Team | Utah tie(s)

  • Jalen Davis | CB | Cincinnati Bengals | Utah State.
  • *Tyler Larsen | C | Washington Commanders | Utah State and Jordan High.
  • Dallin Leavitt | S | Green Bay Packers | Utah State and BYU.
  • Jordan Love | QB | Green Bay Packers | Utah State.
  • Patrick Scales | LS | Chicago Bears | Utah State and Weber High.
  • Deven Thompkins | WR | Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Utah State.
  • Bobby Wagner | LB | Seattle Seahawks | Utah State.
  • Jaylen Warren | RB | Pittsburgh Steelers | Utah State, Snow College and East High.

* Note: Wide receiver Derek Wright was released by the Carolina Panthers on Wednesday, while Larsen was re-signed to the Commanders’ active roster on Thursday.


Chicago Bears offensive tackle Braxton Jones (70) blocks against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Chicago.

Kamil Krzaczynski, Associated Press

Southern Utah

Name | Position | Team | Utah tie(s)

  • Braxton Jones | OT | Chicago Bears | Southern Utah and Murray High.
  • Miles Killebrew | S | Pittsburgh Steelers | Southern Utah.


Buffalo Bills cornerback Taron Johnson looks at the scoreboard during an NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Chicago.

Charles Rex Arbogast, Associated Press

Weber State

Name | Position | Team | Utah tie(s)

  • Taron Johnson | CB | Buffalo Bills | Weber State.
  • Sua Opeta | OG | Philadelphia Eagles | Weber State and Stansbury High.
  • Rashid Shaheed | WR/RS | New Orleans Saints | Weber State.
  • Jonah Williams | DE | Los Angeles Rams | Weber State.


Houston Texans tight end Dalton Schultz (83) runs the ball during an NFL preseason football game against the Miami Dolphins, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, in Houston.

Tyler Kaufman, Associated Press

Other Utah high school players

Name | Position | Team | Utah tie(s)

  • Kaden Elliss | LB | Atlanta Falcons | Judge Memorial High.
  • Alohi Gilman | S | Los Angeles Chargers | Orem High.
  • Siaki Ika | DT | Cleveland Browns | East High.
  • Andre James | C | Las Vegas Raiders | Herriman High.
  • Dalton Schultz | TE | Houston Texans | Bingham High.
  • Noah Sewell | LB | Chicago Bears | Orem High.
  • Penei Sewell | OT | Detroit Lions | Desert Hills High.
  • Jay Tufele | DT | Cincinnati Bengals | Bingham High.