Several Utah athletes selected in NFL Draft, more sign on as free agents

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The NFL Draft took place this week and several players from Utah colleges were either selected in the draft or signed as free agents.

Four players from the University of Utah were picked in the NFL Draft. The Philadelphia Eagles used their 47th pick to take cornerback Eric Rowe. The Eagles actually traded their 52nd pick and two fifth-round picks for Rowe and the Dolphin's sixth-rounder.

Just four picks later, the Cleveland Browns picked the nation's top sack specialist at the collegiate level, outside linebacker Nate Orchard. Orchard led the country with 18.5 sacks last year for the Utes. Orchard will be teaming up with former Ute and now Super Bowl champion, Paul Kruger.

Offensive tackle Jeremiah Poutasi declared for the draft as a junior and his gamble paid off. He was picked up by the Tennessee Titans at No. 66 in the third round. Poutasi was once looked at by the Oregon Ducks, and now he will have the chance to protect former Duck quarterback Marcus Mariota.

The last Ute to be chosen in the draft was former wide receiver and special teams play-maker Kaelin Clay. Clay was chosen in round six by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Clay was only with the Utes for one season, but in that time he tied the school record for the most punt returns for touchdowns in a season.

After the draft was over, many players across Utah got calls from teams to sign as undrafted free agents.

The University of Utah had four more players signed:

  • Wide receiver Dres Anderson signed with the San Francisco 49ers.
  • Linebacker Brian Blechen will get a chance with the Panthers.
  • Tight end Westlee Tonga signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Former tight end turned defensive end Greg Reese says he has been invited to the Seattle Seahawks mini camp.

BYU signed the most undrafted free agents:

  • Linebacker Alani Fua and offensive lineman Solomon Kafu were signed by the Arizona Cardinals.
  • Defensive back Robertson Daniel is getting a chance with the Oakland Raiders.
  • Defensive back Skye Povey is headed to Green Bay to play for the Packers.
  • Wide receiver Ross Apo signed with the Seattle Seahawks.
  • Fullback Paul Lasike will get a chance with the Atlanta Falcons.
  • Former Cougar quarterback Jake Heaps is off to the New York Jets.

Utah State had four players sign with NFL teams:

  • Linebacker Zach Vigil is headed to Miami to play with the Dolphins.
  • Defensive end BJ Larsen signed with the Buffalo Bills.
  • Safety Brian Suite is headed to the Detroit Lions.
  • Offensive tackle Kevin Whimpey signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers.