A good thing may be coming to an end, from a Utah perspective.

For the first time in five years, there may not be a Utah tie who hears their name called during the first round of the NFL draft when the 2024 version kicks off Thursday night in Detroit.

There are no surefire first-rounders among a group of athletes in the 2024 draft class who either played their college or high school ball (or both) in the Beehive State.

That doesn’t mean prospects like offensive linemen Jackson Powers-Johnson or Kingsley Suamataia couldn’t keep the first-round streak going — both have shown up a handful of times as a potential late first-rounder in recent mock drafts.

Utah ties taken in the NFL draft's first round, past 10 years


No. 25 — Dalton Kincaid, Utah TE — selected by Buffalo Bills.


No. 27 — Devin Lloyd, Utah LB — selected by Jacksonville Jaguars.


No. 2 — Zach Wilson, BYU and Corner Canyon High QB — selected by New York Jets.

No. 7 — Penei Sewell, Desert Hills High OT — selected by Detroit Lions.


No. 26 — Jordan Love, Utah State QB — selected by Green Bay Packers.


No Utah ties selected in the first round.


No Utah ties selected in the first round.


No. 20 — Garett Bolles, Utah, Snow College and Westlake High OT — selected by Denver Broncos.


No Utah ties selected in the first round.


No Utah ties selected in the first round.


No Utah ties selected in the first round.

Over the past four years, five Utah ties have been selected during the NFL draft’s first round.

By comparison, in the 20 years before the 2020 draft, there were only seven Utah ties taken during the draft’s first round — headlined by former Utah quarterback Alex Smith going No. 1 overall to the San Francisco 49ers in 2005.

The last time the state of Utah had this long of a streak of first-round draft picks came from 1998 to 2000, when a pair of Cougars and a Ute all went in the draft’s opening round in three straight years.

Historically speaking, this year’s draft class — at least from a Utah perspective — is shaping up to be like the 2019 draft, when no Utah ties went in the first round, a handful of others heard their names during the second and third rounds on Day 2, and then several other locals were picked on the draft’s final day.

How will this year’s class turn out? Will there be more breakout players like Puka Nacua, Dalton Kincaid, Fred Warner or Penei Sewell, or more draft busts like Zach Wilson?

The first round of the 2024 NFL draft takes place Thursday (6 p.m. MDT), Rounds 2-3 on Friday (5 p.m.) and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday (10 a.m.), with coverage on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network.

These are nine names to keep in mind from a Utah perspective as this year’s draft unfolds in Detroit.

Jackson Powers-Johnson, center

Utah tie: Corner Canyon High.

Powers-Johnson was a four-star prospect in the 2021 recruiting class, and over the past three seasons at Oregon, he lived up to that hype.

During the 2023 season, Powers-Johnson won the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s top collegiate center, and was a consensus All-American. The 6-foot-3, 328-pound Powers-Johnson didn’t allow a sack and gave up one QB hit and three QB hurries in 758 pass-block snaps over three years at Oregon, according to Yahoo Sports’ Doug Farrar.

Where he ranks among 2024 center prospects: The Athletic, No. 2; ESPN, No. 2; NFL.com, No. 2.

Scouting report: “Powers-Johnson is a fierce competitor with a salty disposition but needs to improve his first-phase technique to create more consistent block sustains,” said NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. “Despite average athleticism, he doesn’t seem to have many issues in pass protection, as he works with clear eyes, a wide base and good discipline to keep his weight back.”

NFL.com draft projection: Rounds 1-2.

BYU offensive lineman Kingsley Suamataia (78) takes the field during the first half of an NCAA college football game against TCU, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. | LM Otero, Associated Press

Kingsley Suamataia, offensive tackle

Utah ties: BYU and Orem High.

There’s less of a consensus on where Suamataia, who was Powers-Johnson’s teammate at Oregon for one season before transferring to BYU in 2022, ranks among the top offensive tackle prospects in this year’s class.

Given that offensive tackles are highly valued in the draft, though, the 6-foot-5, 326-pound Suamataia is seen as a Day 2 prospect by most prognosticators. This comes after he started 22 games over the past two seasons for BYU — 12 at right tackle and 10 at left tackle — and left Provo having given up just two sacks in his college career, according to Pro Football Focus.

Where he ranks among 2024 offensive tackle prospects: The Athletic, No. 7; ESPN, No. 9; NFL.com, No. 15.

Scouting report: “Suamataia is a dream Day 2 prospect for a team to draft and develop,” said Pro Football Focus’s Trevor Sikkema. “I worry about him being baptized by fire if he is drafted in the first round and called upon to start right away.”

NFL.com draft projection: Rounds 2-3.

Utah safety Cole Bishop (8) motions to the crowd during an NCAA football game on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah. | Tyler Tate, Associated Press

Cole Bishop, safety

Utah tie: Utah.

Bishop is the latest in a long line of successful safeties to come out of the Utes program who looks capable of making a big impact at the pro level.

The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder is being projected as a Day 2 prospect after a three-year run at Utah where he earned All-Pac-12 honors every year and ended his time in Salt Lake City with 197 career tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 14 pass deflections, four fumble recoveries and three interceptions.

Where he ranks among 2024 safety prospects: The Athletic, No. 4; ESPN, No. 3; NFL.com, No. 5.

Scouting report: “Bishop is an interchangeable and versatile safety with good size and speed,” said ESPN’s Steve Muench. “He closes well and limits production after the catch when breaking on passes. He can turn and run with tight ends and bigger receivers, too.”

NFL.com draft projection: Round 3.

Utah Utes defensive end Jonah Elliss (83) celebrates a sack against UCLA in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Jonah Elliss, edge rusher

Utah tie: Utah.

Elliss had a breakout season in 2023 that thrust him into the NFL prospect conversation as a slimmer edge rusher (at 248 pounds) with plenty of upside.

After two seasons at Utah, where the son of former NFL standout Luther Elliss had just four sacks, Jonah Elliss posted 12 sacks during his junior year, to go along with 37 total tackles and 16 tackles for loss. The 6-foot-2 consensus All-American could have done more, too, if injury didn’t limit him to 10 games played.

Where he ranks among 2024 edge rusher prospects: The Athletic, No. 11; ESPN, No. 9; NFL.com, No. 15.

Scouting report: “Elliss is an inconsistent edge setter in the run game, but he is threatening with his upfield burst/motor and skilled with his hands in the pass rush,” said The Athletic’s Dane Brugler. “It is encouraging to think of what he can develop into with a full bag of counters.”

NFL.com draft projection: Rounds 3-4.

Utah offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea (78) sets up to block in front of Florida defensive lineman Tyreak Sapp (94) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. | Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press

Sataoa Laumea, guard

Utah tie: Utah.

Laumea entered the Utes program as a four-star prospect in 2019 and lived up to the hype that comes with being such a high-rated talent.

Now, the four-time All-Pac-12 honoree will get the chance to show off his versatility in the NFL. The 6-foot-4, 319-pound Laumea started 44 consecutive games for the Utes — 19 at right guard and 25 at right tackle — and is seen as more of an interior lineman at the next level.

Where he ranks among 2024 guard prospects: The Athletic, No. 9; ESPN, No. 3; NFL.com, No. 6.

Scouting report: “Laumea is a very competent drive blocker and possesses adequate agility and athleticism to get to lateral landmarks on the move,” said NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. “He can get from block to block as a climber and is generally conscientious of his footwork to bolster his success on positional blocks.”

NFL.com draft projection: Round 4.

Utah Utes safety Sione Vaki (28) intercepts the ball against the Florida Gators in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, during the season opener. Utah won 24-11. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Sione Vaki, safety

Utah tie: Utah.

After a freshman season in 2022 where Vaki showed off his potential, his versatility was on display as a two-way star for the Utes last season.

The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Vaki not only was a standout safety, where he had 51 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and two sacks, he also totaled more than 500 yards of total offense and five touchdowns as a running back. That versatility could pay dividends in the NFL.

Where he ranks among 2024 safety prospects: The Athletic, No. 18; ESPN, No. 20; NFL.com, No. 26.

Scouting report: “Vaki’s versatility is his greatest strength. He plays high, in the box and over the slot on defense,” said ESPN’s Steve Muench. “He also played some running back in 2023 and rushed for 158 yards against Cal. He has the experience and traits to make early contributions on special teams.”

NFL.com draft projection: Round 6.

BYU punter Ryan Rehkow (24) punts the ball in the first half of an NCAA college football game against San Diego State, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Provo, Utah. | George Frey, Associated Press

Ryan Rehkow, punter

Utah tie: BYU.

Is BYU’s second-best draft prospect this year really a special teamer? Yes sir, and if more than one punter goes in the 2024 draft, he’s likely to be drafted.

Rehkow was a four-year standout for the Cougars and is primed to become the first BYU punter to stick around the NFL since Lee Johnson spent nearly 20 years in the league. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Rehkow averaged 48.4 yards per punt on a career-high 68 punts during the 2023 season, though he had a career-low 36.8% inside the 20.

Where he ranks among 2024 punter prospects: The Athletic, No. 2; ESPN, No. 2; NFL.com, No. 2.

Scouting report: “Big punter with an effortless strike that sends the ball flying down the field. Rehkow is a four-year punter whose leg strength has never been in question,” said NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein. “He hits punts far but with a lower trajectory, leading to a higher number of returns and a lower net average than teams might like.”

NFL.com draft projection: Round 6.

Utah offensive lineman Keaton Bills (51) in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Tucson, Ariz. | Rick Scuteri, Associated Press

Keaton Bills, guard

Utah tie: Utah and Corner Canyon High.

There are a lot of former Chargers making it to the NFL, and Bills looked primed to be another Corner Canyon product who’s got what it takes to stick in the pros.

The 6-foot-4, 321-pound Bills played in 45 career games for the Utes and started 36 of them, all at left guard. He twice made the All-Pac-12 honorable mention list and projects as a late-round talent who adds depth at the next level.

Where he ranks among 2024 guard prospects: The Athletic, No. 20; ESPN, No. 13; NFL.com, No. 16.

Scouting report: “Bills is a subpar athlete and won’t stand out with his movement skills, but he works well enough in short areas with the heavy hands and toughness to wear down defenders,” said The Athletic’s Dane Brugler. “Although his ceiling might not be very high in the NFL, he offers a functional skill set that can provide immediate interior depth.”

NFL.com draft projection: Round 6.

Colorado State tight end Dallin Holker (5) in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Fort Collins, Colo. | David Zalubowski

Dallin Holker, tight end

Utah tie: BYU and Lehi High.

Holker was a household name in football circles during his time at Lehi and BYU, but his pro prospects really took off after he left the state.

The 6-foot-3, 241-pound Holker excelled during his lone season at Colorado State, posting career highs with 64 receptions for 767 yards and six touchdowns, eclipsing the numbers he had put up in three years at BYU. He was a John Mackey Award finalist and earned multiple second-team All-American citations.

Where he ranks among 2024 tight end prospects: The Athletic, No. 12; ESPN, No. 12; NFL.com, No. 9.

Scouting report: “Holker is a well-rounded, versatile tight end who can be a good depth piece to play in multi-tight end offenses, but he likely lacks the top-tier athleticism to be a TE1,” said Pro Football Focus’s Trevor Sikkema.

NFL.com draft projection: Round 6.

BYU Cougars quarterback Kedon Slovis (10) warms up before the game against the Sam Houston State Bearkats at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Five other Utah names to watch for

Kedon Slovis (BYU quarterback) is seen by some as a potential late-round selection despite his lone season in Provo getting cut short due to injury.

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Devaughn Vele (Utah wide receiver), who stands 6-foot-5, averaged a career-best 59.5 receiving yards per game in his final season with the Utes.

Thomas Yassmin (Utah tight end) flashed potential to be a pro-caliber tight end while sharing time with Dalton Kincaid and Brant Kuithe at the position at Utah.

Winston Reid (Weber State and Copper Hills High linebacker) started his college career as a walk-on but was a two-time All-American once it was over.

Miles Battle (Utah cornerback) has the height (6-foot-4) and the speed (4.37 in the 40) to make for an intriguing flier selection in the later rounds or as a priority free agent.

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