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How Utah and BYU players performed in the Senior Bowl

Utah safety Cole Bishop, Utah offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea and BYU offensive lineman had good performances in Saturday’s game

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Utah Utes safety Cole Bishop tackles Colorado running back Dylan Edwards (3) in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023.

Utah Utes safety Cole Bishop (8) tackles Colorado Buffaloes running back Dylan Edwards (3) in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Utah won 23-17.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Two Utah players and a BYU player starred for the National team in the Senior Bowl on Saturday afternoon, helping their team to a 16-7 win in Mobile, Alabama.

Utah safety Cole Bishop, Utah offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea and BYU offensive lineman Kingsley Suamataia had good performances in Saturday’s game.

Utah safety and two-way player Sione Vaki was in Mobile and participated in the week’s drills, but did not play in the Senior Bowl.

Here’s how each player performed in Saturday’s showcase.

Cole Bishop, Utah, safety

Bishop had a good day in Mobile, playing nearly every snap for the National team and finishing with two tackles while never having to defend a pass.

His first tackle of the day, on a second-and-4 in the first quarter, stopped Kansas State receiver Ben Sinnott short of the first down. The National Team stopped the American team on the subsequent third down and forced a punt.

“This is what we want in the NFL, play the game the right way,” former NFL defensive back and current NFL commentator Charles Davis said on the Senior Bowl broadcast.

“How about Cole Bishop from Utah right here? The perfect tackle. Head up, head not involved, shoulder on the legs as he lassos the ankles with both arms, bring them together, wrap him up and put him on the ground.”

One moment that stood out from Bishop’s Senior Bowl practices was when he guarded Minnesota Brevyn Spann-Ford, forcing an incompletion.

On another rep, he stuck with Michigan tight end AJ Barner.

Going up against good tight ends in Dalton Kincaid and Brant Kuithe in practice over the course of his Utah career helped Bishop a lot in tight end coverage.

He told reporter Ajay Cybulski that Kincaid, who had a stellar rookie campaign with the Buffalo Bills this season, texted him good luck this week.

“He’s awesome, great player. He’s the best tight end I’ve ever had to guard. Getting to compete with him my freshman and sophomore year was awesome. One of my strengths is guarding tight ends because of him,” Bishop said.

Bishop’s Senior Bowl performance this week, with scouts, coaches and general managers of every team in attendance, may have helped his draft stock.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Bishop as the No. 5 safety on his big board, while Pro Football Focus has him at No. 11

“I’m a really versatile player. I’m very smart on the field. I think that’s what kind of sets me apart on the field, is my preparation before the games. My athleticism, being able to do a lot of different things, so just being able to do a lot to contribute as much as I can,” Bishop told reporter Luke Winstel this week.

Sataoa Laumea, Utah, offensive line

Laumea made 12 starts at right tackle for Utah and was one of the Utes’ most consistent players on the offensive line in 2023.

In Saturday’s Senior Bowl, Laumea played mostly guard and put on a good performance. He won the majority of his reps and he, along with the American offensive line, did not allow a sack all game.

Laumea was in once every two drives as the offensive line rotated in the first half, but as he continued his impressive play, he played nearly the entire second half.

Kiper has Laumea at No. 9 on his guard big board, while he is rated the No. 17 tackle on PFF’s big board.

Kingsley Suamataia, BYU, offensive line

Suamataia, a bright spot on BYU’s offensive line in 2023, had a good showing at the Senior Bowl.

Like Laumea, he won the majority of his reps, including a pancake block. Suamataia was in on the National team’s lone touchdown drive of the game, and he and the offensive line moved the American team’s defensive line.

Near the end of the third quarter, Suamataia, playing tackle, and Laumea, playing guard, combined on a double team that resulted in a first down for American team running back Isaiah Davis of South Dakota State.

Suamataia is the No. 8 offensive tackle on Kiper’s big board, while PFF has him as the No. 12 offensive tackle.