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How many Utahns will be selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft?

CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson believes Penei Sewell, Zach Wilson and Jay Tufele will all be top-25 picks

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In this Aug. 31, 2019, file photo, Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell looks on as Oregon plays Auburn in Arlington, Texas. Sewell is projected to be selected second overall in the 2021 NFL draft.

Ron Jenkins, AP

The 2021 NFL draft isn’t slated to begin until April 29, 2021 — that’s 176 days away — but already debates are raging as to who will be selected and when.

Yep, NFL mock drafts are alive and well this fall, and the latest one, per CBS Sports, looks fondly upon a trio of Utahns.

Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson and USC defensive tackle Jay Tufele are all projected by CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson to be selected in the first round.

Sewell, a Desert Hills High alumnus, is the No. 2 overall prospect in the draft, per Wilson, and is pegged to be selected by the New York Giants. Wilson, meanwhile, continues to see his stock skyrocket, and Ryan Wilson believes he will be the third quarterback selected, behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

Ryan Wilson has Zach Wilson (Corner Canyon High) going to New England at No. 9.

As for Tufele, the former Bingham High standout, who like Sewell, opted out of the current college football season, is projected to be taken with pick No. 23 by Tampa Bay, despite being listed as the 60th-best prospect overall.

Below are Ryan Wilson’s thoughts on each of the prospects:

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Oregon offensive linemen Shane Lemieux (68) and Penei Sewell (58) blocks for quarterback Justin Herbert (10) against Stanford during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Stanford, Calif. Oregon won 21-6.

Tony Avelar, AP

On Penei Sewell

“Could the Giants be in the market for a quarterback, especially one like Justin Fields? Sure. Washington is reportedly ready to trade Dwayne Haskins, who was in Daniel Jones’ draft class. That said, Jones has a chance to be a good NFL starter if the Giants can find a way to protect him. Andrew Thomas has struggled but Sewell would allow Thomas to move to the right side.”


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BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (1) warms up before an NCAA college football game against Western Kentucky, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Provo, Utah.

Rick Bowmer, AP

On Zach Wilson

“Zach Wilson, y’all! We really love Wilson’s game but this is the first time he’s cracked our first round. He’s been lights out this season and reminds us of all the good things we loved about Johnny Manziel and Baker Mayfield when they were in college — except Wilson is more accurate and arguably a better runner. The Pats need a QB and we continue to expect Wilson to garner first-round buzz.”


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Southern California defensive lineman Jay Tufele (78) in the second half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, in Boulder, Colo. Southern California won 35-31.

David Zalubowski, AP

On Jay Tufele

“Injured Vita Vea will be back in 2021 but there won’t be much depth behind him, and adding an interior presence like Tufele will only make an already young and physical defense even more so.”