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Could two former Utah high school football players get selected in the 1st round of the 2021 NFL draft?

ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. lists a pair of former Utah high school football stars — Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell, from Desert Hills High, and USC defensive tackle Jay Tufele, of Bingham High — among his top 25 prospects for the 2021 NFL draft.
Associated Press photos

If you already have your eyes on the 2021 NFL draft, you probably know that former Desert Hills High School star Penei Sewell, now of the Oregon Ducks, is considered an elite prospect in the class.

But could there be another player who went to high school in Utah that could be taken in the first round?

On Tuesday, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr.’s list of the Top 25 prospects for next year was released, and in addition to Sewell being No. 2 behind only Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, former Bingham star Jay Tufele, now of the USC Trojans, is No. 22.

Of the 6-foot-6, 330-pound Sewell, Kiper Jr. noted that he started immediately as a freshman in 2018 before getting injured, and then won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best lineman in 2019.

“Sewell has everything NFL scouts look for in an offensive tackle, and he’s going to be coveted in 2021,” Kiper Jr. concluded.

Of the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Tufele, Kiper Jr. wrote, “Tufele has 7.5 sacks over the past two seasons, but he has some potential there. I think he could be in for a big season, and he could be a 3-technique tackle in the NFL. What stands out on tape is his quickness off the snap. Tufele is also a stout run defender with some raw strength.”

In addition to ranking his Top 25 prospects overall, Kiper Jr. also ranked the top five at each position, and former Bountiful High School standout Houston Heimuli, now with the Stanford Cardinal, is ranked as the fifth-best fullback.