SALT LAKE CITY — The 2020 NFL Draft is over.
But the journey has just begun for dozens of former Utah high school and college football standouts.
Utah State’s Jordan Love was the first local player taken, going to the Green Bay Packers with the No. 26 overall pick Thursday night. Love became the first Aggie drafted in the first round in 50 years, and the first Utah State quarterback taken as high since Bill Munson went to the Los Angeles Rams in 1984.
Utah didn’t have a player selected in the first round, but set a school record with four players taken in the second and third when Jaylon Johnson, Julian Blackmon, Zack Moss and Terrell Burgess were drafted Friday by the Bears, Colts, Bills and Rams, respectively.
Defensive tackle Leki Fotu followed early in Saturday’s fourth round when the Arizona Cardinals called his name, making him the second-ever draft pick from nearby Herriman High School. Teammate Bradlee Anae, the "Mayor" of Sack Lake City and Utes' all-time leader in sacks, went in the fifth round (No. 179 overall) to the Dallas Cowboys, and defensive lineman John Penisini was selected in the sixth round (No. 197 overall) by the Detroit Lions.
Locals in the NFL — 2020 NFL Draft
|Jordan Love||QB||Utah State||Green Bay Packers — 1st round|
|Jaylon Johnson||DB||Utah||Chicago Bears — 2nd round|
|Julian Blackmon||DB||Utah/Layton High||Indianapolis Colts — 3rd round|
|Zack Moss||RB||Utah||Buffalo Bills — 3rd round|
|Terrell Burgess||DB||Utah||LA Rams — 3rd round|
|Leki Fotu||DL||Utah/Herriman High||Arizona Cardinals — 4th round|
|Bradlee Anae||DL||Utah||Dallas Cowboys — 5th round|
|Alohi Gilman||DB||Notre Dame/Orem High||LA Chargers — 6th round|
|John Penisini||DL||Utah/Snow College/West Jordan High||Detroit Lions — 6th round|
The seven Utah players drafted are one behind the school record for most picks in a single season, the eight selections set in 2017.
Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman, a Hawaii native who played one season at Orem High, was drafted in the sixth round (No. 186 overall) by the Los Angeles Chargers.
BYU didn’t have a player drafted for the first time since 2015. In large part because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancelation of pro days around the country, FCS stars like Weber State defensive menace Jonah Williams had to wait until free agency, as well.
The NFL draft isn’t the end of local prospects’ NFL journey. But it could be more difficult than in previous years to make a team, with a shortened offseason due to the impact of the novel coronavirus. Saints coach Sean Payton was the first NFL coach to confirm that offseason workouts won’t start until training camp, which could start as early as the middle of the summer.
That means no rookie mini-camp or organized team activities, with undrafted free agents looking to earn a spot on the roster. Still, there were several free-agent signings and training camp contracts extended after Saturday’s draft.
All deals have been confirmed by KSL.com, unless otherwise noted. Check back regularly as we update the list of new locals in the NFL.
NFL undrafted free agency tracker
Darrin Paulo, OL, Utah — New Orleans Saints (UFA)
Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah — Baltimore Ravens (UFA)
Josh Nurse, CB, Utah — Baltimore Ravens (UFA)
Francis Bernard, LB, Utah/Herriman High — Dallas Cowboys (UFA)
Javelin Guidry, DB, Utah — New York Jets (UFA)
Ty'Son Williams, RB, BYU — Baltimore Ravens (UFA)
Dayan Ghanwoloku, DB, BYU/Northridge High — Los Angeles Rams (UFA)
Aleva Hifo, WR, BYU — Kansas City Chiefs (UFA)
Dominik Eberle, K, Utah State — Las Vegas Raiders (UFA)
Siaosi Mariner, WR, Utah/Utah State — Las Vegas Raiders (UFA)
Tipa Galeai, DE, Utah State — Green Bay Packers (UFA), per his agent.
Caleb Repp, TE, Utah State — Atlanta Falcons (UFA)
Jonah Williams, DL, Weber State — LA Rams (UFA)
Utah high schools
Noah Togiai, TE, Oregon State/Hunter High — Philadelphia Eagles (UFA), according to NFL Networks' Tom Tom Pelissero. Togiai caught 102 passes for 1,048 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Beavers.
Branden Bowen, OL, Ohio State/Corner Canyon High — Carolina Panthers (UFA), according to the Columbus Dispatch. Primarily a tackle, Bowen was a 13-game starter for the Buckeyes in 2019.