Utes in the NFL Draft: Predictions for Utes Entering the NFL Draft

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Utes in the NFL Draft: Predictions for Utes Entering the NFL Draft

University of Utah senior linebacker Chase Hansen (22) setted up prior to a snap in an NCAA Football game vs. BYU at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday November 24, 2018.

(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

University of Utah senior linebacker Chase Hansen (22) setted up prior to a snap in an NCAA Football game vs. BYU at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday November 24, 2018. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

Curtis Lin

University of Utah senior linebacker Chase Hansen (22) setted up prior to a snap in an NCAA Football game vs. BYU at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday November 24, 2018. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

Curtis Lin

Curtis Lin

University of Utah senior linebacker Chase Hansen (22) setted up prior to a snap in an NCAA Football game vs. BYU at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday November 24, 2018. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sammy Mora and Brayden Ramsay

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Chase Hansen
Linebacker
6 feet 3 inches
222 lbs

The linebacker out of Alpine, Utah, has been a key player for the Utes throughout his career. Hansen entered the University of Utah football as a quarterback out of Lone Peak High School in 2012. After a redshirt year on the team and a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brisbane, Australia, he returned to the field as a safety. Hansen started in 26 games as a safety, compiling 141 tackles (10 for a loss), 4 interceptions (1 for a touchdown) and 4 fumble recoveries. In Hansen’s senior season at the U, he was moved to linebacker where he started in 13 games. Hansen earned All-Pac-12 honors during his senior season on the hill. As a linebacker, Hansen had 114 tackles (22 for loss), with 5 sacks and 2 interceptions (1 for a touchdown). Hansen was invited to the NFL combine but didn’t participate due to injury.

According to NFL.com, “Hansen is a competitive overachiever who lacks the desired size to match his downhill mentality. Hansen is caught somewhere between puffed-up strong safety and undersized WILL linebacker. His coverage background and his nose for the football could help him find work as a nickel linebacker with special teams value.”

When asked about the process of preparing for the draft, Hansen said, “It’s been intense. It’s been frustrating at times due to my restrictions, but it’s been a good experience.” Hansen continued, “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and something I’ve been really excited about. It’s been a grind, but a different kind of grind due to my physical restrictions. I do feel like I’ve still been productive and come a long ways since the end of the season with a lot of things.”

Our thoughts on where Hansen will be drafted: 6th Round

 

University of Utah senior linebacker Cody Barton (30) tackled University of Arizona freshman quarterback Jamarye Joiner (10) in an NCAA Football game vs. the University of Arizona at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Friday October 12, 2018.
(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

Cody Barton
Linebacker
6 feet 2 inches
230 lbs
40 yard dash: 4.64 seconds
Bench Press: 30 reps
Vertical Jump: 32.5 inches
Broad Jump: 116 inches
3 Cone Drill: 6.9 seconds
20 yard shuttle: 4.03 seconds
60 yard shuttle: 11.47 seconds

The linebacker from Salt Lake City, Utah, has been a fantastic surprise for the Utes as the bulk of his college playing career came in his senior season. In his first three seasons at Utah, Barton had 9 starts with 118 tackles (13 tackles for loss) coming off of special teams and defense. In his final year on the hill, Barton tacked up 116 tackles (10.5 tackles for loss), 4 sacks and an interception.

According to NFL.com, Barton is a “tough inside linebacker who relies on strength, effort and early diagnosis to rack up tackle production. Barton has played inside and outside, but he’s too small for SAM and may not be fluid enough for WILL linebacker duties. He’s not a bad athlete, but he’s limited. He’s instinctive and his strengths give him a chance in the future, but he has to gain more functional mass and play lights out on special teams.”

When asked how this experience has been having his brother with him, he said, “We didn’t train together, he was in Arizona and I was in Florida so I saw him at the All-Star game in the second week of January. Besides that, I saw him at the combine for maybe five minutes but I talk to him almost every single night, check in with my brother, make sure he is working hard. I think it was tougher for him because he has a kid and a wife back home so he was missing the family but, talking to him on the phone a lot making sure we are still pumped up and motivated. Going through this with him, even with college, we went to high school together, college ball together, now this pre-draft process it’s amazing.”

Our thoughts on where Cody will be drafted: 5th Round

 

Jackson Barton
Offensive Line
6 feet 7 inches
310 lbs
40 yard dash: 5.18 seconds
Bench Press: 25 reps
Vertical Jump: 27 inches
Broad Jump: 109 inches
3 cone drill: 7.85 seconds
20 yard shuttle: 4.66 seconds

Jackson Barton is a hometown hero for the Utes. This two-year starter for the team was a star on the field. The Brighton alum was a first-team All-Pac-12 his senior season. At this year’s NFL combine, he measured in at 6 feet 7 inches, 310 pounds 34-inch arms and 9 ¼-inch hands.

According to NFL.com, Barton “fits into initial blocks with some pop, clever with hand fakes to draw out rusher’s hands first and shifts with defender’s movements to keep blocks in his power zone.”

Jackson spoke on how this has been having his brother with him for this process. “Really unique. It was really fun watching him do linebacker drills at first and then going up after him. It was a really cool experience so far. We only saw each other for five minutes at the whole combine. We’ve been enjoying every bit of it, talking everyday about it and just enjoying this process.”

Our thoughts on where Jackson will be drafted: 7th Round

 

University of Utah senior punter Mitch Wishnowsky (33) punts the ball during an NCAA Football game vs. The Brigham Young University Cougars at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (Photo by Kiffer Creveling | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Mitch Wishnowsky
Punter
6 feet 2 inches
218 lbs
40 yard dash: 4.6 seconds
Vertical Jump: 32.5 inches
Broad Jump: 117 inches

The Ray Guy award-winning punter made history in the NFL Combine becoming the first punter ever to run a 4.6-second 40-yard dash. The punter from Perth, Australia was able to fill the shoes of Utah great Tom Hackett in 2016. Throughout his time at Utah, Wishnowsky led the nation in many aspects of punting. In 2016, he won the Ray Guy award and was named a Consensus All-American after he led the nation in punts 50 yards and above (30) and in net punting (44.63). In his senior year at Utah, Wishnowsky was a second-team All-American averaging a 45.2 yards per punt average. Wishnowsky also forced 25 fair catches on 59 punts with 24 punts landing inside the 20-yard line.

According to NFL.com, “Wishnowsky’s punting style is more about control than power and once he gets into the league and eliminates the Aussie punts, we will see his hang time take a big step up. While teams might like to see a little more leg from him when it is time to flip the field, his consistency and ability to work with control as a pooch punter will be more meaningful.”

Our thoughts on where Mitch will be taken: Free Agency

 

Matt Gay
Kicker
6 feet
232 lbs

The 2017 Lou Groza Award winner had a unique journey to Utah. The Orem native was originally a soccer player for Utah Valley University on the 2014 and 2016 seasons. He walked on to the Utah team during the 2017 preseason. During his first season with the Utes, he was first-team All-Pac-12. He lead the nation in field goals made at 30. He also tied for the most number of field goals made from 50+ yards at 5. He also led the Conference of Champions in accuracy, going 30-of-34 during his first year. His career long of 56 yards came twice, once against San Jose State and a second time against Washington State.

After being granted another year of eligibility, he came back for the 2018 season. While it wasn’t as good as the season he had before, he was still solid on the field for Utah. Again he was first team All-Pac-12 and was a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award again. He set a school record with 21 field goals made without a miss. He had three attempted blocks last season. He is also a four-time Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week.

According to NFL.com, even though his ability to strike the ball is good, his three step field goal approach is slow and might turn teams away from him.

Our thoughts on where Matt will be taken: Free Agency

 

University of Utah senior defensive back Corrion Ballard (15) tackles Washington senior tailback Myles Gaskin (9) during the Pac12 Championship Football game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.
(Photo by: Justin Prather | The Daily Utah Chronicle).

Corrion Ballard
Safety
6 feet 3 inches
200 lbs
40 yard dash: 4.5 seconds
Bench Press: 17 reps
Vertical: 35.5 inches
Broad Jump: 123 inches

Ballard was a junior college transfer from Blinn College in Texas. Although he didn’t participate in the combine, he was a part of Utah’s Pro Day. He started both seasons during his time at Utah. He played both the free and strong safety position. During his first season with the Utes, he recorded 45 tackles with 1 tackle for loss. He also had 2 interceptions on the season.

During his senior season, he started six games at free safety and seven games at strong safety. He had 70 tackles on the season (4 TFL and 1 sack). He had one interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the season. He was honorable mention all-conference during his final season.

Our thoughts on where Corrion will be taken: Free Agency

 

Marquise Blair
Safety
6 feet 1 inch
195 lbs
40 yard dash: 4.48 seconds
Vertical Jump: 35 inches
Broad Jump: 125 inches

Marquise Blair is a Marcus Williams-type safety playing a centerfield role with fast speed and hard-hitting ability. Blair is the only Ute that competed at the combine who the NFL scouts gave a “chance to become an NFL starter” rating. The safety from Wooster, Ohio played two seasons at Utah after transferring from Dodge City Community College in 2017. In his two seasons at Rice-Eccles, Blair started in 20 games chalking up 107 tackles (5 for loss), and 2 interceptions with a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

According to NFL.com, Blair is an “athletic, full-throttle prospect with the mindset of a linebacker in a free safety body. Blair plays the game with an aggressive field demeanor that fuels his passion to race into the action, ready to strike on sight. However, his lack of discipline hurt his team with targeting penalties and by over-running responsibilities against the run and pass. Because of his slender frame, some teams are concerned that durability could become an issue considering how he throws his body around. With that said, he’s long and rangy in coverage, and embodies the mindset that defensive coordinators want from their units.”

Our thoughts on where Marquise will be drafted: 3rd round

 

University of Utah senior offensive lineman Jordan Agasiva (79) signaled a touchdown in an NCAA Football game vs. BYU at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Sunday November 25, 2018.
(Photo by Curtis Lin | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

Jordan Agasiva
Offensive Line
6 feet 3 inches
320 lbs
Bench Press: 23 reps
Vertical Jump: 27 inches

The offensive lineman from Kalihi, Hawaii didn’t participate at the NFL Combine, but took his chances with the NFL at Pro Day. Jordan Agasiva went to junior college at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona before transferring to Utah in his junior season. Agasiva started in 24 games, and was a part of 1,272 plays for the Utes.

Our thoughts on where Jordan will be taken: Free Agency

 

Lo Falemaka
Offensive Line
6 feet 5 inches
295 lbs
40 yard dash: 5.25 seconds
Vertical Jump: 27.5 inches
Broad Jump: 109 inches

Lo Falemaka was a captain for the Utes in his senior season. The offensive lineman from West Valley, Utah was a two-time all-Pac-12 honorable mention. Falemaka played in 12 games with one start before becoming a regular starter in 2017. He started in 22 games in his final two seasons, but found himself being sidelined with injury for 18 games throughout his career.

Our thoughts on where Lo will be taken: Free Agency

 

Aaron Amaama
Offensive Line
6 feet 1 inch
357 lbs
Bench Press: 30 reps
Vertical Jump: 18.5 inches

The offensive lineman out of Kearns, Utah graduated from Bingham High School before committing to play at the University of Utah. During his career as a Ute, Amaama played in 16 games both on special teams and on the offensive line.

Our thoughts on where Aaron will be taken: None

 

Anthony Armstrong
Cornerback
5 feet 9 inches
185 lbs
Bench Press: 6 reps
Vertical Jump: 25 inches

The cornerback out of Draper, Utah wrestled and played football at Alta High School before committing to BYU. Armstrong served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ in South Africa and was also featured in the documentary “Meet the Mormons.” After transferring to Utah in his senior season, Armstrong spent his time on the scout team helping the Utes prepare to take on each week’s opponent.

Our thoughts on where Anthony will be taken: None

 

University of Utah senior wide receiver Jameson Field (10) ran after a catch during an NCAA Football game vs. USC Trojans at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018.
(Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

Jameson Field
Wide Receiver/Returner
5 feet 11 inches
187 lbs
40 yard dash: 4.4 seconds
Bench Press: 13 reps
Vertical Jump: 33 inches

The wide receiver out of Long Beach High School played in 33 games for the Utes during his time on the team. Field not only saw time as a receiver, but also as a punt and kick returner. Field totaled six catches for 52 yards.

Our thoughts on where Field will be taken: Free Agency

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