SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah is expected to have a high number of players selected in this year’s NFL draft — the Utes had nine participants in last week’s NFL scouting combine, eight of which were defenders.

With so many Utah players projected as draft picks this year, there is speculation which former Ute will come off the board first at the 2020 NFL draft, to be held April 23-25 in Las Vegas.

NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter released his latest mock draft Friday, this one a three-rounder. He had one Utah defender — safety Terrell Burgess — sneaking into the first round, to San Francisco at No. 31 overall. 

“San Francisco must add players to the secondary and Burgess’ versatility makes him a coveted prospect,” Reuter wrote.

Reuter also had former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, who’s regularly now considered a likely first-round selection, going to the Los Angeles Chargers with the No. 6 overall pick.

“Love told reporters that the Chargers were among the teams he met with at the combine, and L.A. may be willing to chalk up Love’s high interception total in 2019 (17) to a function of the QB trying to do too much for an average team,” Reuter wrote.

Burgess had a solid, if unspectacular showing at the combine, clocking a 4.46-second run in the 40-yard dash, fifth among safeties. He also had 20 reps on the bench press (tied fourth among safeties) and added a 33.5-inch vertical leap (tied 17th) and 122-inch broad jump (tied 13th).

Utah has four draft prospects who play in the defensive secondary, all who were at the combine and include cornerback Jaylon Johnson, nickel back Javelin Guidry, who ran a defensive back-best 4.29 seconds in the 40, and safety Julian Blackmon.

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The Utes were also represented by defensive end Bradlee Anae, defensive tackles Leki Fotu and John Penisini, linebacker Francis Bernard and running back Zack Moss at the combine.

Reuter also projects three Utes will be picked in the second round — Anae at No. 49 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Fotu at No. 56 by the New York Giants and Johnson at No. 63 by the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.