SALT LAKE CITY — According to numbers provided by the league, the state of Utah had itself a fine 2019 NFL draft last week.
The NFL released a set of statistics Friday breaking down which high schools had players selected in the April 25-27 draft.
Brighton High was one of just 12 schools nationally that had multiple players drafted, with brothers linebacker Cody Barton (third round, Seattle Seahawks) and offensive tackle Jackson Barton (seventh round, Indianapolis Colts) taken in the draft. Only two schools — Allen High in Allen, Texas, and Cocoa High in Cocoa, Florida — had more draft picks with three each, while nine others had two draft picks along with Brighton.
Overall, there were five players who played high school football in Utah that got drafted — including linebacker Kaden Elliss (a former Judge Memorial High quarterback who played linebacker at Idaho, kicker Matt Gay (an Orem High grad who played soccer at UVU before heading to Utah to become their kicker) and wide receiver John Ursua (who prepped at both Westlake and Cedar High and played some quarterback in high school).
Utah ended up third among states with the most NFL players drafted in 2019 per capita, according to the NFL. Going off the most recent U.S. census data from 2010 which put Utah’s population at 2,763,885, the state of Utah had one NFL player selection per 552,777 people. That trailed only Mississippi (1 per 296,730 people) and Louisiana (1 per 453,337 people) and just edged out Florida (1 per 552, 980 people), which led all states with 34 players selected.
Up next for each of these first-year pros, including those who signed undrafted free-agent contracts or earned tryouts, is rookie minicamp. NFL teams will be holding rookie minicamps over the next two weekends. Here’s the schedule:
May 3-5: Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs (May 4-6), Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks
May 10-12: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams (May 10), Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins
Here’s where the 2019 local ties are headed for rookie minicamps (*on tryout basis), with information based on school releases, NFL team information and other sources as noted:
- Chicago: Utah State (Timpview High) tight end Dax Raymond, Southern Utah guard Marquez Tucker, Utah State wide receiver Ron’quavion Tarver*, BYU (Snow College and American Fork High) wide receiver Jonah Trinnaman*
What they're saying: "TE Dax Raymond can line up on the line of scrimmage, as an H-back or in the slot. Sneaky athlete with good hands who isn't much of a blocker. We thought he might sneak into Day 3," wrote CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson.
- Cleveland: BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki, Utah State safety Jontrell Rocquemore*, Utah State safety Aaron Wade*
- Indianapolis: Utah (Brighton High) offensive tackle Jackson Barton, Utah State wide receiver Aaren Vaughns*
- Kansas City: Utah State running back Darwin Thompson, Utah State (Snow College and Mountain Crest High) safety Gaje Ferguson*, Utah State offensive guard/tackle (Snow College) Roman Andrus*, Southern Utah (Bingham High) tight end Logan Parker*
What they're saying: “He has great contact balance … it’s really remarkable to see him always keep the ball forward and he’s always finishing runs moving forward. He’s tough and he can do some things out of the backfield," Kansas City general manager Brett Veach on Thompson, according to Chiefs.com
- Oakland: UCLA (Herriman High) offensive tackle Andre James, BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum*, Utah State safety Dallin Leavitt (a second-year player with the organization)
- San Francisco: Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah offensive guard Jordan Agasiva*
- Seattle: Utah safety Marquise Blair, Utah (Brighton High) linebacker Cody Barton, Hawaii (Cedar and Westlake High) wide receiver John Ursua, Michigan (Highland High) defensive tackle Bryan Mone, Utah (Cottonwood High) center Lo Falemaka*, Utah quarterback Troy Williams*
What they're saying: “Really intense tempo setter. Tough, tough dude. He’s really quick. Like a silent assassin," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said of Blair, according to the Tacoma News Tribune
- Carolina: Utah safety Corrion Ballard
- Detroit: BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum*, Stanford (Pleasant Grove High) offensive guard Brandon Fanaika*, according to his Twitter profile
- New Orleans: Idaho (Judge Memorial High) linebacker Kaden Elliss, Utah (Lone Peak High) linebacker Chase Hansen, BYU (Timpview High) defensive end Corbin Kaufusi, USC (Salem Hills High) linebacker/defensive end Porter Gustin, Weber State fullback Brady May*, BYU wide receiver Dylan Collie*, according to ESPN 960’s Ben Criddle
What they're saying: "His dad was a good football player. That is a good pedigree that he comes from,” New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis on Elliss, according to the team website. His father, Luther Elliss, was a Utes defensive end and first-round pick by Detroit in 1995.
- Philadelphia: Weber State (Stansbury High) offensive guard Iosua Opeta
- Tampa Bay: Utah (Orem High) kicker Matt Gay, Utah State center Quin Ficklin*