LOCALS IN THE NFL
Former NFL Player Breaks Down Potential Undrafted Free Agent Locals
SALT LAKE CITY – There are seven rounds in the NFL Draft, which means some local prospects will not be selected and will be an undrafted free agent.
Former Utah Utes and NFL linebacker Stevenson Sylvester joined SportsBeat on Sunday to break down some players that might not hear their name called on draft day but will get an opportunity to play in the NFL as an undrafted free agent.
Sylvester thought that WR Samson Nacua and offensive lineman James Empey would be late round draft picks or go undrafted.
“Samson Nacua had an incredible pro day,” Sylvester said. “He ran a great time, he has great ball skills. When you put on the film, he can body guys, which is what you want. He had a great career at Utah with Tyler Huntley, so his resume really sticks out.”
BYU's Samson Nacua, "CHINS UP!" #gocougs #byucougars @BYUfootball
🎥: @Samsworth_KSL pic.twitter.com/tGn7p3ryIv
— Andy Muñoz (@andymunoz48) October 10, 2021
Sly gave his thoughts on James Empey.
“He’s just one of those guys that just gets it done,” Sylvester said. “He’s a Steelers type guy. The o-linemen that I knew there, I could see James Empey being a great fit there.”
Utah State Aggies
Sylvester believes that Nick Heninger, Shaq Bond and Derek Wright were three players from Utah State that would have a shot at the NFL.
“Nick Heninger is the biggest guy that we have to talk about,” Sylvester stated. “His production is crazy. I love his motor. That is guys that are in his position in the NFL look for is his ability to get after the quarterback every single play.”
USU DE Nick Heninger getting the real party started! pic.twitter.com/a6heW7OeYX
— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) December 20, 2021
Sly was very high on Shaq Bond. He compared the Utah State standout to his former Utah Utes teammate Joe Dale.
“For some reason, he is just a playmaker time after time,” Sylvester said. “You put on the tape and he is around the football and I know NFL guys love that. I think Shaq Bond will make an NFL team very happy.”
Sylvester thought that two players from his alma mater would be selected late in the draft or go undrafted in offensive lineman Bamidele Olaseni and defensive end Mika Tafua.
“Big Bam Olaseni is 6’8, 345 pounds and runs a 5.3,” Sylvester said. “That’s a lot of man running at you. He is a very big, fast, physical human being. I think from his size, he will get an opportunity in the NFL.”
. @BamideleOlaseni ‼️#ShrineBowl | @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/mhLxY96j9i
— East-West Shrine Bowl (@ShrineBowl) January 31, 2022
Tafua was one of the top pass rushers in the country when it comes to getting after the quarterback.
“Mika Tafua was a leader on this football team and a high production guy,” mentioned Sylvester. “He can get off the line of scrimmage really fast, which is what you want in your defensive end. He’s going to make a lot of NFL teams happy.”
2022 NFL Draft
The 2022 NFL Draft takes place from April 28-30. Click here to learn more about how to watch, stream, or listen to coverage of the NFL Draft.
Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).
Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.
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