NFL Draft tracker: Utes safety Cole Bishop is first Utah player selected

Bishop and BYU’s BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia were taken off the board Friday.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Utes safety Cole Bishop (8) gets a hand on Oregon Ducks running back Jordan James (20) as the Utah Utes host the Oregon Ducks, NCAA football in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023.

Utah football fans had to watch and wait as the NFL Draft kicked off on Thursday.

Now things are starting to heat up.

Utah’s Cole Bishop and BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia were both selected in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday.

The Buffalo Bills took Bishop with the 60th overall selection, making the safety the Utes’ highest-drafted defensive back since Jaylon Johnson (50th) in 2020.

A short while later, the Kansas City Chiefs moved up one spot to make sure they grabbed Suamataia with the 63rd overall pick.

Utah edge Jonah Elliss was taken with the 12th pick in the third round (76th overall).

On Saturday, the Detroit Lions took Utah safety Sione Vaki in the fourth round (132nd overall), and the Seattle Seahawks selected Ute guard Sataoa Laumea in the sixth round (179th overall).

The Denver Broncos took Utah wide receiver Devaughn Vele in the seventh round (235th overall).

Utah safety Cole Bishop, No. 60 to Buffalo Bills

He was a three-year starter and one of the best players in the Pac-12. An incredibly willing tackler, Bishop made Utah’s safety position the most active spot on the field. He led Utah in tackles in 2022 and finished his career with nearly 200.

Bishop had 60 tackles — including 6.5 tackles for losses and three sacks — to go with two interceptions, a forced fumble and two recoveries last season for the Utes.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Brigham Young Cougars offensive lineman Kingsley Suamataia (78) as BYU hosts Texas Tech, NCAA football in Provo on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.

BYU lineman Kingsley Suamataia, No. 63 to Kansas City Chiefs

At almost 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds, Suamataia can run a five-second, 40-yard dash. He can also dunk a basketball and grew up boxing with his family. That fluidity translates to the football field.

Offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick called Suamataia one of the best athletes he’s ever seen play the position. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Roderick remarked back in 2022.

“Kingsley is not just a terrific player with tremendous ability, but a person a great organization like the Chiefs, Coach Andy Reid and the fans in Kansas City will love on and off the field,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said. “I am just so proud and happy for him and the entire Suamataia family.”

The sophomore is still learning. He changed spots on the offensive line during his two years in Provo. He told The Salt Lake Tribune he can play every spot on the line, except maybe center.

Utah edge Jonah Elliss, No. 76 to Denver Broncos

The Utes waited patiently for Elliss to develop in their system, and they were rewarded with a highly productive 2023.

Elliss racked up 12 sacks and 37 tackles last year. Playing for his father — defensive ends coach Luther Elliss — the junior capitalized on his size. He is 6-foot-2 but has the prototypical length for an NFL edge rusher.

Utah safety Sione Vaki, No. 132 to Detroit Lions

Vaki started at safety in 12 games in 2023, splitting time at running back in seven. He tallied 51 tackles (8.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks), an interception, two pass breakups, 42 carries for 317 yards (2 TDs) and 11 catches for 203 yards (3 TDs). He is the 17th Utah defensive back drafted in the Kyle Whittingham era.

Utah guard Sataoa Laumea, No. 179 to Seattle Seahawks

Laumea started 12 games at right tackle in 2023, helping block for a rushing offense that averaged 182.5 yards per game. He also played at right guard during his Utah career.

Utah wide receiver Devaughn Vele, No. 235 to Denver Broncos

Vele, who began his Utah career as a walk-on, is the first Ute wide receiver drafted since 2015. He played in 10 games with nine starts in 2023, recording a team-high 43 catches for 593 yards (3 TDs). He had a career-high 145 yards receiving on just five receptions against Washington.