BYU Pro Day: Who will be drafted in 2022?

Last year BYU hosted more players and NFL scouts than any other year in program history.  The players showed well and the result was incredible-all thirteen class of 2021 players evaluated got at least a tryout with an NFL team.  Five were drafted, six signed as undrafted free agents, and one got a minicamp invite.

Pro Day 2021 (March 26, 2021)

NAME POS 40-YD CONE SHUT BP VERT BJ Notes
Zach Wilson QB Drafted no. 2 (1)
Brady Christensen OL 4.89 7.33 4.46 30 34 10-4 Drafted no. 70 (3)
Dax Milne WR 4.54 6.85 4.19 14 31 9-6 Drafted no. 258 (7)
Zayne Anderson DB 4.46 6.78 4.22 11 34 10-0 Signed as UDFA
Matt Bushman TE 7.13 4.41 23 32.5 Signed as UDFA
Khyiris Tonga DL 5.02 7.82 4.6 35 28 8-9 Drafted no. 250 (7)
Zac Dawe DL 4.93 7.09 4.47 33 29.5 9-4 Signed as UDFA
Chris Wilcox DB 4.31 7.19 4.22 37.5 10-6 Drafted no. 251 (7)
Troy Warner DB DNP Injury Signed as UDFA
Tristen Hoge OL 5.13 7.9 4.83 29 26 8-9 Signed as UDFA
Chandon Herring OL 4.94 7.65 4.46 26 29 9-5 Signed as UDFA
Isaiah Kaufusi LB 4.73 7.01 4.48 19 30.5 9-9 Signed as UDFA
Kavika Fonua DB 4.43 6.93 4.28 18 39.5 10-5 Minicamp

In addition to the Class of 2021, BYU also hosted four former players that hadn’t had the opportunity to showcase their skills the year prior due to COVID shutdowns. Of those four, Micah Simon was also able to secure an NFL contract as a free agent.

Class of 2020 players at Pro Day 2021

NAME POS 40-YD CONE SHUT BP VERT BJ 2021 in NFL
Aleva Hifo WR 4.62 6.96 4.22 12 39.5 10-7
Batchlor Johnson WR 4.46 6.97 4.19 11 31 9-8
Micah Simon WR 4.34 6.84 4.29 14 36 10-5 Signed as UDFA
Beau Tanner DB 4.46 6.95 4.13 35.5 10-2

The 2022 Pro Day was much more intimate.  BYU still pulled out all the stops for the 34 representatives from 29 NFL teams that attended, but instead of featuring 17 players as they did last year, there were only five on display this time around.

But expect a similar result.

While the 2021 Pro Day was headlined by Zach Wilson, the exposure was good for all 17 participants.  This year the headliner was Tyler Allgeier (RB, 5-foot-11, 224 pounds), who will assuredly be drafted, but wanted to improve his stock after a somewhat disappointing NFL combine.

He likely did that.

At the combine, Allgeier’s forty time of 4.60 ranked 23rd of 27 running backs, but he was squarely in the middle of the pack in vertical leap (33-inches, 15th of 31) and broad jump (10-feet-0, 13th of 30).

For BYU’s Pro Day Allgeier opted out of repeating the forty and the jumps but instead focused on agility drills and bench press.  His 21 repetitions on the bench press would have ranked third of six running backs tested at the combine.  No running backs tested for 3-cone or the 20-yard shuttle at the combine, but Allgeier’s times of 7.09 and 4.34 in those skills were impressive and would have placed him in the middle of the pack for receivers and defensive backs at the combine.

NAME POS HT WT CONE SHUT BENCH
Tyler Allgeier RB 5-11 224 7.09 4.34 21
RBs at Combine       3/6

Most draft boards currently have Allgeier being selected somewhere between rounds four and six, but a third-round selection isn’t off the table.  Allgeier’s stock is rising with his Pro Day performance and I expect he will land in the fourth or fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

What about the other four participants?

None are slated to be drafted, but all four stand a good chance of signing free agent deals next month.  With his Pro Day performance and family pedigree, there is a chance that Samson Nacua sneaks into the seventh round.

Samson Nacua (WR, 6-foot-4, 202 pounds) surprised with a very fast 4.48 40-yard dash at BYU’s Pro Day. The senior also posted impressive times in the agility drills.  His 6.75 in the 3-cone drill would have placed him 8th of all participants at the NFL combine, while his 4.34 20-yard shuttle would have ranked him no. 6 of all combine wide receivers.

NAME POS HT WT 40-YD CONE SHUT BENCH VERT BROAD
Samson Nacua WR 6-4 202 4.48 6.75 4.34 16 32 10-1
WRs at combine       17/33 3/14 7/13 2/4 29/35 22/34

Nacua likely won’t be drafted but his performance at the BYU Pro Day at least got him into the conversation, and the buzz resulting from his pro day performance will assuredly result in several different options as a free agent if he is not drafted.

The next most likely to hear his name on draft day is probably James Empey (OL, 6-foot-3, 297 pounds).  His Pro Day performance probably didn’t do much to help his draft stock, but it probably didn’t hurt him either.  Empey’s 23 bench presses would have ranked 15 of 19 at the NFL combine, while his forty time would have placed him near the bottom of the rankings (47th-of-51).

NAME POS HT WT 40-YD CONE SHUT BENCH VERT BROAD
James Empey OL 6-3.5 297 5.37 23
        47/51     15/19    

Empey will rely on his excellent PFF ratings and his performance on the field rather than his measurables if he wants to get drafted.  As a four-year starter he made 41 career starts at center and was named as a finalist in many of the offensive lineman awards.  He was rated as the most underrated center in the country by Pro Football Focus in 2020.  But he’s also small for an NFL center, older than most entering the league, and ended 2021 with an injury that kept him out his last five games.

The NFL mock Draft Database gives him an overall rank of 299, just on the outside of getting drafted, but several mock drafts have him going in the sixth or seventh rounds.  While he is not expected to be drafted, like Nacua he should have plenty of options to sign as an undrafted free agent.

Neil Pau’u (WR, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds) did well at the BYU Pro Day… for the most part.  His 4.71 forty time would have placed him dead last at the NFL combine, but his agility times were incredible.  His 4.10 shuttle would have placed him no. 2 among wide receivers at combine, while his 6.95 three-cone drill would have ranked 9th for all participants at the combine, and was 3rd among receivers.

NAME POS HT WT 40-YD CONE SHUT BENCH VERT
Neil Pau’u WR 6-3 205 4.71 6.95 4.10 14 31
WR at combine       32/32 3/14 2/13 2/3 32/34

Pau’u has 123 receptions for 1,484 yards and 13 touchdowns in his four years at BYU.  In 10 games as a senior he had 46 receptions for 526 yards and six touchdowns and was invited to play in the Hula Bowl All-Star game.

Unfortunately, like Empey Pauu’s senior season was cut short with an injury.  He does not appear as a potential draft pick on any draft boards, but his Pro Day performance shows that he is healthy and could play at the next level.  His chances of signing a contract as an undrafted free agent are pretty good.

Finally, Uriah Leiataua (DL, 6-foot-2, 252 pounds) participated in just one drill at BYU’s Pro Day.  His 23 bench presses would be considered average for defensive lineman looking to enter the League.

NAME POS HT WT 40-YD CONE SHUT BENCH VERT BROAD
Uriah Leiataua DL 6-2 252 23

Leiataua is a longshot for signing an NFL contract.  He had just 69 tackles and five sacks in his five years at BYU but he is making a last push to get noticed by NFL scouts.  He could end up getting a camp invite.

 Pro Day 2022 (March 25, 2022)

NAME POS HT WT 40-YD CONE SHUT BENCH VERT BROAD
Tyler Allgeier RB 5-11 224 7.09 4.34 21
Neil Pau’u WR 6-3 205 4.71 6.95 4.10 14 31
James Empey OL 6-3.5 297 5.37 23
Uriah Leiataua DL 6-2 252 23
Samson Nacua WR 6-4 202 4.48 6.75 4.34 16 32 10-1

Baylor Romney (QB)* – Not tested, just there to throw balls for Allgeier, Nacua, and Pau’u

About Tyler Christensen 755 Articles
Tyler Christensen is a teacher, sports writer, speaker, and ultra-marathon runner. He is the founder of BYU Insider, D1 Recruiting, Virtual School Assembly, and After the Run. When he's not writing or speaking, he's spending time at home in southern Utah with his amazing wife and four children.