UTAH UTES

Former Utah Football Athletes Showed Well In Front Of NFL Scouts During Pro Day Day

Mar 21, 2024, 5:07 PM | Updated: 6:46 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football had a full house of NFL scouts on March 21 to check out nine former Utes during Pro Day.

31 of 32 NFL teams were represented in the Spence Eccles Field House (the Los Angeles Rams were the only team not present) to see Cole Bishop, Sione Vaki, Jonah Elliss, Devaughn Vele, Sataoa Laumea, Keaton Bills, Miles Battle, Thomas Yassmin and Emery Simmons in action.

Scouts also got a sneak preview of quarterback Cam Rising who threw for drills but obviously has one more year of college ball to worry about first.

All in all, it was a very productive day for the former Utes who participated in Pro Day and now it’s just a waiting game till draft day.

Utah Football Prepares Their Athletes For Their NFL Moment

Former cornerback Miles Battle definitely turned some heads during his Pro Day.

The 6’4″ prospect posted a 37″ vertical jump and there were rumblings that Battle may have posted a 4.3 number on his 40-yard dash. (No official times have been posted on the 40, but it is telling that Battle only ran the exercise once.)

Battle, who transferred from Ole Miss for one season, was very complimentary about how his short time at Utah helped to prepare him for the NFL.

“We played a lot of man defense,” Battle said. “Everything kind of revolved around man and I feel like that is what NFL teams try to stick with. Being able to do that at the highest level of college and now going to NFL is going to translate well for me.”

Receiver Devaughn Vele is another one of Utah’s more under-the-radar prospects who has shown well in his opportunities at the NFL Combine where he ran a 4.47 40-yard dash and then again during Pro Day showing off his receiver and special teams skills.

Being under-the-radar isn’t anything new to Vele who started his career with the Utes as an unranked walk-on and worked his way to a scholarship and a leading role in Utah’s offense.

 

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“From an offensive standpoint, I appreciate the offensive play calls,” Vele said. “They built up my football I.Q., like, we’re not just one of those black and white teams. We have a lot of gray area where we have to understand coverages, audibles, checks- all of those things. Even the fronts of the d-line so I feel like that has prepared me for the NFL to where- when we get the playbook, it won’t be so hard to study.”

Offensive tackle Sataoa Laumea has been on the NFL’s radar and has taken advantage of a Senior Bowl invite, Combine invite, and now Pro Day to showcase what makes him so special.

Despite playing on the outside of the line last season, Laumea projects as more of a guard in the pros. However, no matter where he is asked to play on the line, Laumea feels prepared for the moment due to his time with Utah football.

“I feel like a lot of my strengths are because I came here,” Laumea said. “I love the culture; I love their brand of football and how it helped develop me. If you watch Utah football- they play a very physical brand of football, and we play as one. I feel like, whatever team picks me up, I’ll bond with my o-line, and I’ll play for one another. I’ll get after it and play physical too.”

Other Notables From Utah Football’s Pro Day

Safety Cole Bishop did not participate in any on-the-field activities after posting a phenomenal day at the NFL Combine a few weeks back. He was on hand speaking with scouts throughout the event though and was certainly one of the more popular players there.

Jonah Elliss also did not do any drills during Pro Day since he’s still recovering from a shoulder surgery at the end of the Utes’ 2023 season. Unsurprisingly however, Elliss was someone that scouts were also very interested in talking to as others ran through their drills.

Finally, Sione Vaki appears to have really helped himself at Pro Day showing much better than he did at the Combine.

Again, these are just rumblings and nothing official, but word on the street is Vaki ran in the 4.4 range for his 40 at Pro Day. That number is substantially better and much more in line with what many believed he could do than his 4.6 time at the Combine. Vaki also only ran the exercise once.

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Former Utah Football Athletes Showed Well In Front Of NFL Scouts During Pro Day Day