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Jay Tufele - Penei Sewell
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NFL Analyst Projects Pair Of Former Utah Prep Stars As First-Round NFL Draft Picks

USC's Jay Tufele (left) and Oregon's Penei Sewell (right). (Courtesy of Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – ESPN’s Todd McShay recently released his “early projections for all 32 first-rounds picks” of the 2021 NFL Draft and slotted two former high school stars from the state of Utah as first-round draftees.

The 2021 NFL Draft is scheduled to take place in April 2021.

In his mock draft, the NFL analyst projected former Utah high school standouts and current college football stars Penei Sewell and Jay Tufele as first-round selections in April’s Draft.

Penei Sewell

A native of American Samoa, Sewell is one of college football’s top prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft.

McShay listed the offensive lineman as the third player taken in the Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and said he was “the best player still on the board here and the most talented offensive lineman in the class.”

Prior to his time in college, Sewell played for Desert Hills High School in Saint George, Utah. Coming out of Desert Hills in 2018, Sewell was listed as a top 60 recruit nationally and the best prep star in the state of Utah by 247Sports.

The offensive lineman chose to play college football for the Oregon Ducks. Sewell completed his sophomore season with the Ducks in 2019 by helping them to a Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl victory.

Jay Tufele

Tufele, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, was also projected as a first-round selection in the ESPN mock draft.

McShay slotted the defensive lineman as the No. 25 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The NFL analyst said that “Tufele not only provides value as a run stopper but also as an effective pass-rusher from the interior. He’s big, quick and very strong at the point of attack.”

Before playing college football, Tufele dominated the line of scrimmage at Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah. He was rated as the top high school player in Utah and No. 39 in the country for the class of 2017 by 247Sports.

After his prep career with the Miners, the defensive standout decided to play college football for the USC Trojans. Tufele completed his sophomore campaign with the Trojans in 2019.

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