Since 2010, Utah’s three FBS schools (Utah, BYU, and Utah State) have seen an athlete or two go in the very first round of the NFL draft.

For BYU, they’ve seen a total of 16 athletes called up to the big stage on draft night during this time span, but only 2 of those have been in the very first round.

With time moving as quickly as it does, I’m here to remind you in the past 14 years who’s shook hands with Roger Goodell from Brigham Young University on opening night.


Let’s get the obvious one front and center here.

In 2021, the New York Jets selected Zach Wilson with the 2nd overall pick.

The gunslinger was set to be the future of a franchise that had started 12 different quarterbacks since 2010.

Instead of being the missing piece, Wilson’s tenure only added to the list of inconsistency among the Jets quarterback position.

After two seasons as a starter with little to show for it the Jets acquired future Hall of Famer, Aaron Rodgers, and demoted Wilson to the backup spot.

Originally intending to learn and grow from the savvy veteran in Rodgers, Aaron’s season debut would only last a couple plays before suffering a season ending injury.

That thrust Zach back into the limelight, starting 11 more games.

It did nothing to change the perception, and Wilson and the Jets were no longer options for one another.

Traded to Denver only days ago from the writing of this piece, Wilson gets a fresh start to win a starting job against Jarrett Stidham and rookie, Bo Nix.

His statistics before he ever takes a snap as a Bronco are as follows:

34 games played in three seasons, Starting 33 of them.

6,293 yards on 566/933 passing (57 %) next to 498 rush yards.

23 touchdowns, 25 interceptions, 5 rushing touchdowns, 17 fumbles.

Wilson will have a prime opportunity to rewrite his story if things go well in Colorado.


Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah spent three years in Provo before joining Jim McMahon as the highest draft pick in BYU history by being selected 5th overall by the Detroit Lions. (Zach Wilson would later become the highest BYU player drafted, at #2.)

A towering defensive end with an impressive drive to get to the opposing quarterback, Ansah would burst onto the NFL scene.

Making the 2013 All-Rookie team, appearing in the NFL’s top 100 in 2016 (#43), and making a Pro Bowl in 2015, Ziggy was a common defensive name in the NFL for a handful of years.

Playing for 8 seasons with the Lions, Seahawks and a small stint in San Francisco, Ansah’s most impactful years were to be found in the Motor City.

He would finish top ten in the NFL in sacks in both 2015 (14.5) and 2017 (12) and tackles for loss in 2017 (15)

In the 6 seasons for Detroit, Ansah tallied 48 sacks, forced 10 fumbles and recovered three.

Ziggy recorded 110 QB hits paired with 162 solo tackles during that time.

His next two seasons in Seattle for 11 games and San Francisco for 2 games would only produce 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 12 solo tackles and 8 QB hits and were due to a bevy of injuries that Ansah had to deal with.

Those two games in San Francisco were a byproduct of a biceps tear, and Ansah hasn’t appeared in the NFL since that 2020 season.

Ansah’s career was short but strong in moments, and it makes you wonder what else he would have accomplished if health was on his side.


That’s it, that’s the list, but with the Big 12 era upon BYU, there is no doubt another first rounder will soon be upon Cougar nation.

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