Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Zach Wilson (1) reacts after scoring a touchdown during an NCAA football game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson, who starred at Corner Canyon High, is expected to be a top 5 pick in this year’s NFL draft, and the overall consensus is that the New York Jets will take Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick. | Yukai Peng, Deseret News

Over the past five years, more football players who’ve prepped at Utah high schools have been taken in the NFL draft than any other time in history.

In the past five years, 17 players who’ve played at least part of their high school years in Utah have been drafted. That represents 16% of the 104 Utah high school players who have been taken in the draft all-time (and doesn’t count two Utah high schoolers who were supplemental draft picks), per data researched via Pro Football Reference.

While there have been four times when four Utah high schoolers were taken in the NFL draft the same year, the 2019 draft broke that record, when five players who prepped in Utah were selected.

This year could reset the bar on what’s already becoming a high standard, though.

That is thanks, in large part, to two prospects who both could have their names called in the top 5 picks in the draft (which runs April 29-31), as well as a handful of other players who have Day 2 or 3 draft potential.

Everything starts at the top for Utah-developed prep talent in the 2021 draft class, though, and is the leading reason why this year could set a new benchmark.

John Bazemore, Associated Press
Oregon’s Penei Sewell, who prepped at Desert Hills High, is seen as a first-round talent in the 2021 NFL draft and has been linked as a possibility with the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 5.Utah’s top talents in the 2021 draft

Two offensive stars, former Corner Canyon quarterback Zach Wilson and former Desert Hills offensive tackle Penei Sewell, are projected to go early in the draft. Eight Utah high schoolers have been a first-round pick all-time, but never in the same season. In other words, it will make history when, not if, Wilson and Sewell become the first pair to do so.

The highest a Utah high schooler has ever been selected was former Logan High and Utah State defensive tackle Merlin Olsen, who went third overall to the Los Angeles Rams in 1962. There have been two others taken in …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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NFL draft: Is this the best group of Utah-produced players ever?

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