Former Utes Talk NFL Draft Process
Mar 24, 2023, 9:14 AM | Updated: 2:08 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – Pro Day is a wrap for the Utes and now it’s time to wait and see where the rest of the NFL process takes the hopefuls till Draft Day.
11 former Utes took the field on Thursday, March 23 in front of 31 of the 32 NFL teams (the Rams were the only team not in attendance) in an effort to raise some eyebrows at Pro Day in preparation for the 2023 NFL Draft.
Offensive lineman Braeden Daniels, tight end Dalton Kincaid, and cornerback Clark Phillips III talked a little about their NFL preparation processes after the event and their hopes for what comes next starting on April 27.
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Respecting The NFL Process
Daniels and Phillips III already performed for the NFL at the Combine earlier in the month and helped solidify their standing with some finishing work at Pro Day. Kincaid was also invited and present at the Combine but was unable to perform due to a back injury he sustained while still playing for the Utes. The talented tight end also opted not to perform at Pro Day after only being cleared to workout this past Monday.
Many expect all three former Utes will hear their names called during the Draft and perhaps no one’s stock has been helped more through this process than Daniels’. Daniels however, has kept a very realistic approach as the Draft looms large.
“I try to keep my head down and continue to work,” Daniels said of his skyrocketing Draft value. “Try to keep my head in the grind. Wherever I go, I have aspirations to go day two, but I mean, I understand it’s day two or undrafted for me. It’s cutthroat, but I’m excited and ready to hear my name called.”
Kincaid has seen his stock go up as well largely due to scouts going back and taking a second and third look at his tape. Tight end is becoming a hot position in the NFL due to the likes of players like George Kittle and Travis Kelce, and Draft experts believe Kincaid may have that kind of ability at the next level too.
“I think that helps a lot,” Kincaid said of the rising popularity of his position. “I think the game is still changing, tight ends are getting a lot more involved, and you see how valuable they are. It’s a lot of guys who have definitely set the way and set a good example, but it’s up to us- like the current tight ends to keep it going and keep it evolving more and more.”
Phillips III has perhaps been the steadiest force through the process despite the fact he’s seen his stock drop from round one to round two due to the talent available. Still, Phillips III has always been in the conversation to get Drafted and listening to how much he loves the grind and process, there is no wonder why he’s high on the NFL’s list of prospects.
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“I pride myself on being athletic, but that’s not all of my game,” Phillips III said. “I take pride in preparing for every single matchup, every single game- formational tendencies, all of that stuff. The things you need in a football player. When it comes to preparing for this stuff, this is just what they wanted to see and another thing that you got to check off. For me, I just have to do my job, and this is what they want to see. They want to see the 40, they want to see all of that stuff, but I definitely understand that I’ve never been the fastest, I’ve never been the biggest, but that’s not my game. I got to cover some of the best of the best and we fared really, really well.”
Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports
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