SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah football team was well represented in the NFL Draft with a total of seven selections, just one shy of the school record set in 2017.
Three Utes defensive linemen were taken on the final day of the draft.
Leki Fotu went to the Arizona Cardinals in the 4th round with the 114th overall pick. Bradlee Anae was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the final pick of the 5th round, while John Penisini went in the 6th round to Detroit Lions.
Fotu, a 6-5, 335-pound defensive tackle, was as 2-time first team All-Pac-12 selection. In his senior season, Fotu recorded 29 tackles, 9 for loss, to go along with 1.5 sacks.
Anae, Utah’s all-time sack leader with 30, had to wait until the 179th overall pick to get drafted by Dallas. The 6-3, 257-pound edge rusher had 13 sacks as a senior last season. He will most likely be used as a stand-up lineman in the NFL.
Penisini, a 6-1, 318-pound defensive tackle, was a two-time second team All-Pac-12 selection. He had 38 tackles last season, two sacks and two forced fumbles.
“I was honestly preparing for the worst,” Penisini said after getting the call from the Lions. “Just looking for an undrafted free agent (call). To be honest, it’s a blessing to actually make it to the sixth round. I was projected to be a seventh rounder or even undrafted. Right now, I’m excited. My mom’s happy and everyone is happy, so it is shocking and it’s a blessing to be honest.”
Four Utes went on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, as cornerback Jaylon Johnson was selected in the 2nd round by the Chicago Bears, safety Julian Blackmon went to the Indianapolis Colts in the 3rd round, running back Zack Moss was taken by the Buffalo Bills in the 3rd round, while safety Terrell Burgess was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, also in the 3rd round.
Utah State had just one player drafted, as quarterback Jordan Love was taken in the first round by the Green Bay Packers.
For the first time since 105, BYU did not have a player drafted.