LOCALS IN THE NFL

Local Players Selected During 2024 NFL Draft

Apr 27, 2024, 6:38 PM

NFL-Draft-Logo-2024...

A detail of the NFL logo for the 2024 NFL draft during round four of the 2024 NFL draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza on April 27, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Seven players with ties to the state of Utah heard their names called during the 2024 NFL Draft and officially joined the league.

Local players picked in 2024 NFL Draft

The NFL Draft was held in Detroit, Michigan from April 25-27.

Here are the local players that were picked during the seven-round event:

Jackson Powers-Johnson – Center – Las Vegas Raiders (Corner Canyon/Oregon)

The Las Vegas Raiders selected former Corner Canyon High School standout and Oregon offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson with the No. 44 overall pick during the second round.

 

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Before his college career, Powers-Johnson was a standout player at Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah. Coming out of high school, Powers-Johnson was rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports. He was ranked as the No. 3 player in the state of Utah for the class of 2021.

Following his time with the Chargers, Powers-Johnson chose to attend the University of Oregon.

In 2021, the offensive lineman played in 11 games as a true freshman. A year later, Powers-Johnson played in 12 of the Ducks’ 13 contests.

Last season, Powers-Johnson had a breakout campaign as Oregon’s starting center. After the 2023 season, he was honored as first-team All-Pac-12 and was a unanimous All-American. Powers-Johnson also won the Rimington Trophy as the top center in college football.

Powers-Johnson helped the Ducks to a 12-2 record in his final season at Oregon.

Cole Bishop – Safety – Buffalo Bills (Utah)

The Buffalo Bills selected former Utah Utes safety Cole Bishop with the No. 60 overall pick during the second round.

 

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Before his time at the University of Utah, Bishop was a standout player at Starr’s Mill High School. The Peachtree City, Georgia native began his career with the Utes in 2021.

In his first two years at Utah, the defensive back helped the Utes win consecutive Pac-12 Conference titles and make back-to-back appearances in the Rose Bowl Game.

Bishop played three seasons at Utah. As a senior in 2023, the safety had 60 total tackles, 35 solo tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries in 11 games played.

In 35 games with the Utes, Bishop totaled 197 total tackles, 117 solo tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, three interceptions, 14 pass breakups, one forced fumble, four fumble recoveries, and one blocked kick.

Kingsley Suamataia – Offensive Tackle – Kansas City Chiefs (Orem/BYU)

The Kansas City Chiefs selected former BYU Cougars offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia with the No. 63 overall pick during the second round.

 

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Before his time in college, Suamataia was a standout player for the Tigers of Orem High School in Utah. The highly-recruited five-star athlete chose to start his college career at the University of Oregon.

Following one season with the Ducks, the Utahn returned to the Beehive State and transferred to BYU.

Suamataia was a versatile player for the Ducks and Cougars. He played tackle on both the right and left sides of the offensive line.

In 2022, Suamataia played and started in 12 games for the Cougars.

Last season, the tackle played in and started 10 games for BYU. Suamataia helped the Cougars to a 5-7 overall record, including 2-7 in league play, during their first year in the Big 12 Conference.

Suamataia was honored as second-team All-Big 12 for his play in 2023.

Jonah Elliss – Defensive End – Denver Broncos (Utah)

The Denver Broncos selected former Utah defensive end Jonah Elliss with the No. 76 overall pick during the third round.

 

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Before his time at the University of Utah, Elliss was a standout player at Moscow Senior High School in Idaho.

After his first two years in Salt Lake City, the defensive end had a breakout season as a junior in 2023.

However, Elliss suffered a season-ending injury in 2023 that forced him to end his Utah career a few games early.

Last season, Elliss had 37 total tackles, 23 solo tackles, 12 sacks, 16 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, and one forced fumble in 10 games played.

In 35 career games for the Utes, Elliss recorded 78 total tackles, 47 solo tackles, 16 sacks, 23 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries.

The defensive end is the son of former NFL player Luther Elliss and the brother of NFL players Noah, Christian, and Kaden Elliss.

Sione Vaki – Running Back/Safety – Detroit Lions (Utah)

The Detroit Lions selected former Utah defensive back Sione Vaki with the No. 132 overall pick during the fourth round.

 

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Before his time at the University of Utah, the Antioch, California native was a standout player at Liberty High School.

The safety joined the Utah football program ahead of the 2022 season.

In his first season on the hill, Vaki played in all 14 of Utah’s games and started in five of those contests. Last season, Vaki had a breakout year for the Utes, starring on both offense and defense. He started 12 games at safety and became a standout running back on offense.

Vaki finished his college career with 90 total tackles, 70 solo tackles, five pass breakups, two sacks, and one interception on defense. On the other side of the ball, Vaki ran for 317 yards and two touchdowns. He also hauled in 11 receptions for 203 yards and three touchdowns.

The standout safety played in 26 games at Utah, including 17 starts.

Sataoa Laumea – Offensive Lineman – Seattle Seahawks (Utah)

The Seattle Seahawks selected former Utah offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea with the No. 179 overall pick during the sixth round.

 

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Before his time at the University of Utah, the Rialto, California native was a standout player at Eisenhower High School.

Laumea began his Utah career in 2019 and played in one game as a true freshman. Over the following four seasons, Laumea began a key piece to the Utes’ offensive line.

In 2020, the lineman earned Pac-12 All-Conference second team honors. The next season, he was named honorable mention Pac-12 All-Conference. In 2022, Laumea played in a career-high 14 games and received a spot on the All-Pac-12 first team. In his final year with the Utes, he was honored as member of the league’s second team.

Laumea played in 45 games at Utah, including 44 straight starts.

Devaughn Vele – Wide Receiver – Denver Broncos (Utah)

The Broncos selected former Utah wide receiver Devaughn Vele with the No. 235 overall pick during the seventh round.

 

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Before his time at the University of Utah, the San Diego, California native was a standout player at Rancho Bernardo High School.

After high school, Vele joined the Utes ahead of the 2019 season.

He went on to play five seasons at Utah. During his time in Salt Lake City, Vele recorded 123 receptions for 1,689 yards and nine touchdowns in 47 games played. Eight of Vele’s touchdowns came in his final two seasons at Utah.

The wideout helped the Utes win consecutive Pac-12 Conference championships in 2021 and 2022.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. Listen to Ireland on Yards After College: An NFL Podcast. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Local Players Selected During 2024 NFL Draft