Editor's note: This story was updated one day after its original publishing to include another Utah tie, Weber State's Andrew Vollert, being claimed off waivers.
SALT LAKE CITY — A new crop of football players is working through the NFL offseason right now, and the state of Utah has its fair share of representation again.
A total of 75 players with Utah ties are on NFL active rosters through Thursday, with another player on injured reserve, as the end of May nears and organized team activities are going on throughout the league.
With up to 2,880 players league-wide who can be signed during the offseason to a team's active roster — 90 players per team — that equates to around 2.5 percent of all NFL active-roster players having a Utah tie.
Those numbers will dwindle later this summer, when teams head to training camp and have to cut their rosters from 90 during the offseason to 53 players on the active roster to start the year.
Between now and then, though, these Utah ties will have opportunities to solidify their positions.
By comparison, there were 79 local players on NFL rosters in the latter stages of May 2018. In 2017, there were 90 local players on NFL rosters around this time, including 35 rookies. That set the standard in recent seasons, compared to 75 Utah ties on rosters in 2016, 70 in 2015 and 66 in 2014.
This year's crop of 75 players includes 21 local rookies on rosters, with nine draft picks and 12 undrafted free agents.
Here’s a breakdown of those 75 players (note: they can count towards multiple categories):
- 25 who played at the University of Utah (down from 28 last year)
- 15 who played at Utah State (down from 16 last year)
- 14 who played at BYU (down from 18 last year)
- 5 who played at Southern Utah (equal to 5 last year)
- 4 who played at Weber State (equal to 4 last year)
- 4 who played at Snow College (down from 6 last year)
- 31 who played football at Utah high schools (up from 27 last year)
Here’s a look at each local player in the NFL, listed by team in alphabetical order:
No local players
No. 48, DE, Bingham High
Miles, who had 95 tackles and 7.5 sacks at Boise State, signed an undrafted free-agent contract with the Falcons this offseason. He is one of two rookie defensive ends on the Falcons’ roster, along with fourth-round pick John Cominsky.
No local players
No. 41, LB, Utah State
Alexander signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Bills in March and moved to linebacker from safety, where he’s played since entering the NFL in 2014. He played in nine games for Seattle last season and had 10 tackles.
No. 24, CB, Weber State
Johnson, a fourth-round pick in 2018, had 37 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception as a rookie in 11 games. He had season-ending surgery on a torn labrum in December, and will be a key reserve again this season.
No. 98, DT, Utah, Snow College and Bingham High
Lotulelei started every game in the middle of the defensive line last year in his first season with Buffalo. He had 17 tackles and a pass deflection on the year while helping the Bills hold opponents to 114.9 rushing yards per game.
Number not assigned, OT, BYU
Wesley is back with the Bills after Buffalo picked him up off waivers from Indianapolis on Wednesday. He spent part of the 2018 season on Buffalo’s practice squad before joining the Colts’ practice squad later in the year.
No. 35, S, Utah
Ballard, who had 70 tackles and eight pass deflections for the Utes last season, signed an undrafted free-agent contract with Carolina. He is the lone rookie among seven safeties on the Panthers’ roster.
No. 69, C, Utah State and Jordan High
Larsen played in a career-high 16 games for Carolina last season, starting three. He helped the Panthers rank first in the NFL in yards per rush, at 5.01 yards per attempt, and is the expected backup to offseason addition Matt Paradis at center.
No. 36, S, BYU
Nacua spent time on both Baltimore’s and Carolina’s practice squads last year, joining the Panthers in early December. He's likely to be in the competition to replace veteran Mike Adams, who started at free safety last year but is now a free agent.
No. 52, LB, Utah
Norris is headed into his fourth season with the Panthers after entering the league as an undrafted free agent. He was placed on injured reserve with an injured toe last October and has 10 career tackles, playing mainly on special teams while backing up six-time All-Pro middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.
No. 27, CB, Southern Utah
Thornton signed a futures contract with Carolina in January after spending a week on the team’s practice squad at the end of the year. He has bounced around five different teams during his first two years in the league.
No. 49, LB, Utah
Fitts played in six games as a rookie and did not record any statistics. He was a sixth-round draft pick by the Bears in 2018 and will again be in the hunt for reps as a reserve at outside linebacker.
No. 48, TE, Utah State and Timpview High
Raymond went undrafted after declaring for the NFL draft following his junior season at USU, and he earned praise with the Bears during rookie minicamp. “He has a really good skill set,” Chicago coach Matt Nagy told The Athletic. “I was happy with what he did this week.”
No. 48, LS, Utah State and Weber High
Scales re-upped with the Bears in the offseason, signing for his fifth season in Chicago. He’s played every game at long snapper in two of the past three seasons, while missing all of 2017 with a torn ACL.
No. 71, OG, Southern Utah
Tucker is in his rookie season and signed with Chicago after going undrafted. He was a two-year starter for Southern Utah and is one of six undrafted offensive linemen the Bears have signed in the past month.
No. 11, WR, Utah State
Sharp joined the Bengals midway through last season after spending time on Buffalo’s practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster late in the year after spending five weeks on Cincinnati’s practice squad and will again be battling several others, including former first-round pick John Ross, for a backup role.
No. 59, LB, Utah State and Fremont High
Vigil is headed into the final year of his rookie contract as the expected starter at strongside linebacker, while being backed up by rookie third-round pick Germaine Pratt. He missed five games with a knee injury last year, but still had 79 tackles, including a 14-tackle performance in Week 17.
No. 44, LB, BYU
Takitaki was a third-round pick by the Browns in last month’s draft and could be in line to back up Christian Kirksey at outside linebacker. “Thanks to his athleticism, versatility and range, Takitaki should fit well in (defensive coordinator) Steve Wilks’ defense, which uses interchangeable linebackers,” Browns team reporter Nick Shook wrote.
No. 86, TE, Bingham High
Schultz played in 11 games for the Cowboys last season after being selected in the fourth round of the 2018 draft. He had 12 receptions for 116 yards on the year and will be among a group looking to back up longtime Cowboy Jason Witten, who came out of a one-year retirement.
No. 76, OG, Timpview High
Su’a-Filo didn’t play until midseason last year, but he filled in after starter Connor Williams was injured and started the final eight games at left guard for the Cowboys in 2018. He’s expected to provide depth again for Dallas this year.
No. 72, OT, Utah, Snow College and Westlake High
Bolles started every game at left tackle during his second NFL season in 2018, just like he did during his rookie year. He helped Denver average 119.2 rushing yards per game last season, 12th in the league, and is expected to start on the O-line again in 2019.
No. 23, RB, Utah
Booker did more of his damage as a pass catcher last season, as a pair of rookie running backs took over the bulk of the carries for the Broncos. Booker ended the year with 183 rushing yards and a touchdown to go with 275 receiving yards.
No. 81, WR, Utah
Patrick, a one-time undrafted player, re-signed with the Broncos after a one-year deal in 2018. He went from sweating out final cuts last season to playing in every game and starting four late in the year, while finishing with 23 receptions for 315 yards and his first career touchdown.
No. 35, S, Southern Utah
Killebrew saw his role diminish in 2018, as he spent most of his time on special teams and had five tackles on the season. He may have to fight to hold a roster spot after Detroit drafted another safety and signed additional help at the position.
Green Bay Packers
No. 35, RB, Snow College
Bibbs played much of the 2018 season with Washington, scoring a career-high three rushing touchdowns before joining Green Bay for the final two weeks of the season. He’s played for four teams since joining the league in 2014.
No. 51, LB, Utah State
Fackrell had a breakout season in 2018, leading the Packers with 10.5 sacks, including a pair of three-sack games. He started seven games on the year while adding 42 tackles and could again be a starter at outside linebacker in Green Bay.
No. 30, RB, BYU
Williams had 464 rushing yards and three touchdowns last season while adding 210 receiving yards. He’s started 15 games over the first two years of his pro career and will again team up with starter and fellow 2017 draft class back Aaron Jones.
No local players
No. 71, OT, Utah and Brighton High
Barton joined the Colts as a seventh-round selection during last month’s NFL draft. He joins an Indianapolis offensive line group that rated among the best in the league last season, including allowing just seven sacks in 2018.
No. 66, OG, Utah
Agasiva signed with the Jaguars following a tryout at the team’s rookie minicamp. He was one of 18 reported rookies with local ties to earn a tryout — he also had one in San Francisco — and is one of three undrafted rookies the Jaguars signed on the offensive line.
Kansas City Chiefs
No. 19, WR, Layton High
Kemp has mainly been a special teams contributor during his two seasons with the Chiefs, though he added his first career reception (for 7 yards) and played in all 16 games in 2018. He joined the team after going undrafted in 2017 and could be in line to serve as a key backup.
No. 49, S, BYU
Sorensen missed much of the 2018 season after suffering a knee injury in training camp and being placed on injured reserve. He wound up playing in seven games and starting three while adding 24 tackles and a 54-yard pick six, and he’ll again be in the mix at safety for Kansas City.
No. 25, RB, Utah State
Thompson spent one season in Utah State as a JC transfer before bolting for the NFL, and it paid off when the Chiefs took him in the sixth round of April’s NFL draft. He’ll be fighting for opportunities to contribute at running back with veteran Damien Williams and Carlos Hyde, as well as second-year back Darrel Williams.
Los Angeles Chargers
No. 43, CB, BYU
Davis became a major contributor for the Chargers in 2018, starting nine games and playing in 15 while recording 50 tackles, eight pass deflections and a forced fumble. He’s headed into the final year of his contract and will be in contention for playing time with guys like Trevor Williams, Casey Hayward and Desmond King.
No. 50, LB, Weber State and Hunter High
Johnson joined his fourth NFL team in his first two pro seasons when he signed to the Chargers’ practice squad in early October 2018. He played in four games, recording three tackles before going back on the practice squad, and will be searching for reps to contribute as a reserve this season.
No. 69, OT, Utah
Tevi became a regular during his second pro season, starting every game for the Chargers at right tackle after Week 1 in 2018. He’ll be in contention to start again this season, while seeing competition from 2019 third-round pick Trey Pipkins.
No. 89, TE, Weber State
Vollert was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati by the Chargers on Thursday. The second-year pro is one of seven tight ends on the Los Angeles roster and spent time on the practice squad with the Bengals and Cardinals last season.
Los Angeles Rams
No. 3, WR, Utah State
Greene, a rookie, went undrafted and signed with the Rams in early May. The grad from USC will face long odds for a roster spot while competing with three other undrafted free-agent signings at wide receiver.
No. 36, CB, Utah
Hatfield is back for a third season with the Rams as an undrafted free-agent signee, after he was placed on injured reserve in December last season with an ankle injury. He’s mainly played special teams in Los Angeles and will have competition to provide depth in 2019 third-round pick David Long.
No. 19, WR/RS, Utah State
Natson joined the Rams in summer 2018 and was the team’s punt returner last year, averaging 10.8 yards per return. He’ll also be in competition to back up Brandin Cooks at the slot wide receiver position.
No. 32, FS, Utah
Weddle joined the Rams this offseason following three seasons in Baltimore. The 12-year veteran and six-time Pro Bowler with more than 1,000 career tackles and 29 interceptions will start at free safety and becomes an instant leader on a Super Bowl contender.
No. 36, CB, Utah State
Davis spent much of his rookie season on the Dolphins’ practice squad before being promoted to the active roster late in the year, playing in three games and recording six tackles. He’ll add depth behind last year’s starters, Bobby McCain and Xavien Howard.
No. 92, LS, BYU
Denney is back for his 15th season with the Dolphins at long snapper. The 41-year-old has never missed a game in his career.
No. 4, LB, Utah and Highland High
Orchard signed the Dolphins last week after being released by Seattle. He’s also spent time in Cleveland, Buffalo and Kansas City since being a second-round draft pick by the Browns in 2015 and will compete for reps as an edge rusher.
No. 21, CB, Utah
Rowe signed with the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent this offseason after three years in New England. He missed much of the 2018 season with a groin injury and can provide depth at the cornerback position for Miami, with 17 career starts over four seasons.
No local players
New England Patriots
Kyle Van Noy
No. 53, LB, BYU
Van Noy is back for his fourth season with the Patriots after starting all games last year for the defending Super Bowl champions. He had a career-high 90 tackles in 2018 to go along with 3.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and an interception.
New Orleans Saints
No. 55, LB, Judge Memorial High
Elliss was a seventh-round draft pick by the Saints last month and will compete for reps on one of the NFC’s top teams. He is one of four rookies at linebacker for New Orleans but the only draft pick among them.
No. 58, OLB, Salem Hills High
Gustin went undrafted last month but signed with the Saints before rookie minicamp. He missed much of the past two seasons due to injury at USC but still had 21 career sacks in college.
No. 54, LB, Utah and Lone Peak High
Hansen was waived by the Saints just before rookie minicamp after signing as an undrafted free agent, then re-signed the next week. He’s one of three rookie free-agent linebackers competing for reps with the Saints.
No. 7, QB, BYU
Hill turned into a Swiss Army-type reserve for the Saints last season, contributing on special teams as a returner and a gunner while also lining up at several positions offensively. He’ll be in a similar role this season as the team’s third-string QB and is coming off a year where he rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns and caught a touchdown in the NFC championship game.
No. 69, DE, BYU and Timpview High
Kaufusi went undrafted last month but signed with the Saints after making 56 tackles and 8.5 sacks as a senior at BYU. He is one of two rookie defensive ends New Orleans signed as an undrafted free agent.
No. 43, S, Utah
Williams is the Saints’ returning starter at free safety as he heads into his third NFL season. He had 57 tackles, three pass deflections and two interceptions last season for New Orleans in his second full year as a starter.
New York Giants
No local players
New York Jets
No. 8, QB, Logan High
The Jets claimed Falk off waivers in early May from Miami. He spent much of 2018 on injured reserve with a wrist injury and will compete with Trevor Siemian and Davis Webb for a backup position in New York behind starter Sam Darnold.
No. 91, DE, BYU and Timpview High
Kaufusi played in three games for the Jets last season, while he spent most of the year on the team’s practice squad. He’ll compete for reps and a roster spot at defensive end.
No. 44, LB, BYU, Utah and Bingham High
Langi spent the 2018 season on the Jets’ practice squad after signing with the team in early October. He’ll have competition for linebacker reps from 2019 fifth-round pick Blake Cashman.
No. 49, LB/DE, Southern Utah and Davis High
Cowser, in his third season with the Raiders, spent 2018 on the team’s practice squad before signing a futures contract at the end of the year. He’ll look to make an impact like he did in 2017, when Cowser played in all 16 games and had 23 tackles.
No. 70, OL, Snow College and American Fork High
Devey joined Oakland as an unrestricted free agent following three seasons with Kansas City. The six-year veteran will provide depth on the line at a variety of positions.
No. 68, OT, Herriman High
James signed as an undrafted free agent with the Raiders following his UCLA career. He’s one of three offensive tackles Oakland signed as undrafted free agents.
No. 26, CB, Utah State
Lawson signed with Oakland as an unrestricted free agent this offseason following five seasons in Detroit, where he started 54 games over the past four years. He’ll likely play a key role in Oakland as well and could start Week 1.
No. 32, S, Utah State and BYU
Leavitt played in two games at the end of the 2018 season after spending the year on the team’s practice squad. He’ll be fighting for reps and a roster spot at strong safety.
No. 78, OG, Weber State and Stansbury High
Opeta signed as an undrafted free agent with Philadelphia this offseason. He’ll have plenty of competition for a roster spot, as the Eagles signed four guards who were undrafted free agents.
No. 29, CB, Utah
Allen is looking to break into the rotation heading into his third year in Pittsburgh. The 2017 fifth-round draft pick played in six games last year and had a lone tackle, while also spending some time on the team’s practice squad.
San Francisco 49ers
No. 50, LB, Utah and Timpview High
Taumoepenu has played in six games over the past two seasons for San Francisco since joining the team as a sixth-round pick in 2017. He could compete to be a backup inside linebacker this season.
No. 54, LB, BYU
Warner started every game during his rookie season in 2018 and had 109 tackles, including 70 solo stops, while adding six pass deflections, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He’ll again start for the 49ers at the SAM linebacker position.
No. 6, P, Utah
Wishnowsky became the first Utah punter to be drafted since Rich Partridge went to Green Bay in 1979 when San Francisco took him in the fourth round of this year’s draft. He’s expected to be the 49ers’ starting punter.
No. 98, DE, BYU
Ansah signed with the Seahawks as an unrestricted free agent earlier this month after six seasons in Detroit, where he was a Pro Bowler in 2015. He signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks and will compete for a starting job once he returns to the field after undergoing a late-season shoulder injury last year.
No. 57, LB, Utah and Brighton High
Barton was a third-round selection by the Seahawks in last month’s draft after finishing his senior year at Utah with 116 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He’ll likely compete at middle linebacker behind All-Pro Bobby Wagner.
No. 27, SS, Utah
Blair became the first local off the board in last month’s NFL draft when the Seahawks took him in the second round. He’s one of two safeties Seattle drafted this year, along with Ugochuku Amadi.
No. 41, SS, Utah State
Evans signed to the Seahawks’ practice squad for one week in the 2018 playoffs before inking a futures contract at season’s end. He previously played in Green Bay, where he started a game and had 24 tackles in 2017, but is facing an uphill battle for a roster spot in Seattle.
No. 79, DT, Highland High
Mone joined the Seahawks by signing an undrafted free agent contract this offseason and is one of three rookies, two undrafted, at defensive tackle. He had 44 career tackles and a half-sack at Michigan.
No. 15, WR, Cedar High and Westlake High
Ursua was selected by the Seahawks in the seventh round of last month’s draft and is one of five rookie wide receivers at a crowded position in Seattle. He sat rookie minicamp to rest a sore hamstring.
No. 54, MLB, Utah State
Wagner is the unquestioned leader of the Seattle defense, though there are questions beyond this season as he heads into the final year of his contract without an extension yet. The five-time All-Pro had 138 tackles, 11 pass deflections, two forced fumbles and an interception last year in his seventh season with the Seahawks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
No. 9, K, Utah and Orem High
Gay became the first Ute kicker to be drafted when the Buccaneers selected him in the fifth round last month. He’ll compete with five-year veteran kicker Cairo Santos for the starting kicker position.
No. 96, DL, Utah and East High
Tu’ikolovatu missed the 2018 season after he was placed on injured reserve with a triceps injury in August. He’ll compete to add depth at the defensive tackle position.
No. 36, CB, Southern Utah
Sims is headed into his fourth season with Tennessee after recording 22 tackles in 2018 while playing all 16 games, starting two. He’ll add depth again to the Titans secondary.
No. 66, OL, Utah and Skyline High
Bergstrom re-signed for a third season in Washington after playing in 13 games and starting eight in 2018. He’ll provide depth again, likely at center.
No. 11, QB, Utah
Smith suffered a fractured leg last year during Washington’s Week 11 loss to Houston, ending a promising first season with the organization. There is no timetable for the three-time Pro Bowler’s return as he continues to recover following surgery, and the Redskins drafted quarterback Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft.
On injured reserve
No. 68, OG, Utah and Spanish Fork
The Dolphins waived Asiata last week with an injury designation, then placed him on injured reserve once he cleared waivers. He’s played in two career games after being a fifth-round pick in 2017.
Currently free agents
Here’s a look at the notable local free agents right now:
Ricky Ali’ifua, DE, Utah State21 comments on this story
Zane Beadles, OG, Utah and Hillcrest High
Robertson Daniel, DB, BYU
J.J. Dielman, OL, Utah
Hunter Dimick, DL, Utah and Syracuse High
Tejan Koroma, C, BYU
Tomasi Laulile, DE, BYU
Ryker Mathews, OT, BYU and American Fork High
Devante Mays, RB, Utah State
Donald Penn, OT, Utah State
Jeremiah Poutasi, OL, Utah
Derrick Shelby, DE, Utah
Pasoni Tasini, DT, Utah
Jason Thompson, S, Utah
Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Salesi Uhatafe, OG, Utah
Zach Vigil, LB, Utah State and Clearfield High
Joe Williams, RB, Utah
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State