Since Ed "Red" Wade from Utah State was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1937 in the second NFL draft, the state of Utah has consistently produced NFL-caliber players. Some players were drafted but never played, while others went on to have long careers in the NFL. The 1980s saw football players from Utah make their mark in the NFL. Unlike previous decades, BYU produced some of its best NFL talent during this era:

Jim McMahon led the 1985 Bears to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl victory.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted quarterback Steve Young and, after considering him a bust, traded him to the San Francisco 49ers where he would go on to have a Hall of Fame career.

Running Back Vai Sikahema became the first NFL play of Tongan descent. Take a look at our previous list of Utah football players drafted in the '70s. In the coming weeks look for draft lists from the '90s and 2000s.

Marc Wilson, Quarterback, BYU

1980 NFL Draft
Round 1, Pick 15
Oakland Raiders

Wilson was drafted by the Oakland Raiders and played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Raiders and the New England Patriots. Wilson backed up Jim Plunkett on the Raiders 1980 and 1983 superbowl winning seasons. WIlson never established himself as a longterm started for the Raiders and spent the last two years of his career with the Patriots going 1-15 in his final season.

Rulon Jones - Defensive End, Utah State

1980 NFL Draft
Round 2, Pick 42
Denver Broncos

Jones spent nine seasons with the Denver Broncos. He recorded 52.5 sacks and three safeties in his career and went to the Pro Bowl in 1985 and 1986.

Mat Mendenhall - Defensive End, BYU

1980 NFL Draft
Round 2, Pick 55
Washington Redskins

Mendenhall played two seasons with the Washington Redskins and started for the Redskins in Super Bowl XVII which they won. He is the older brother of BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall.

Eric Hipple - Quarterback, Utah State

1980 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 85
Detroit Lions

Hipple played nine seasons with Detroit Lions. He threw for 10,711 yards, 55 touchdowns and 70 interceptions in his career.

Rick Parros - Running Back, Utah State

1980 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 107
Denver Broncos

Parros played for six seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. His best season was in 1981 where he rushed for 749 yards and two touchdowns and caught 25 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown.

Craig Bradshaw - Quarterback, Utah State

1980 NFL Draft
Round 7, Pick 182
Houston Oilers

Bradshaw, who is the younger brother of Hall of fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, was drafted by the Houston Oilers, but only played two games in the NFL.

Henry Henderson - Defensive Back, Utah State

1980 NFL Draft
Round 10, Pick 251
Detroit Lions

Henderson was drafted by the Detroit Lions but did not play a game in the NFL.

Lewis Walker - Running Back, Utah

1980 NFL Draft
Round 10, Pick 268
Washington Redskins

Walker was drafted by the Washington Redskins but did not play a game in the NFL.

Clay Brown - Tight End, BYU

1981 NFL Draft
Round 2, Pick 42
Denver Broncos

Brown was drafted by the Denver Broncos. He played in one game for the Atlanta Falcons in 1982 and three games for the Broncos in 1983 but did not record any statistics.

Dean Miraldi - Guard, Utah

1981 NFL Draft
Round 2, Pick 55
Philadelphia Eagles

Miraldi spent five seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Raiders.

Jeff Griffin - Defensive Back, Utah

1981 NFL Draft
Round 3, Pick 61
St. Louis Cardinals

Griffin played in the NFL for six seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles. Griffin had four career interceptions and a sack.

Glen Titensor - Defensive End, BYU

1981 NFL Draft
Round 3, Pick 82
Dallas Cowboys

Titensor played seven seasons in the NFL, all with the Dallas Cowboys.

Scott Phillips - Wide Receiver, BYU

1981 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 87
Seattle Seahawks

Phillips was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks but did not play a game in the NFL.

Nick Eyre - Offensive Tackle, BYU

1981 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 106
Houston Oilers

Eyre was drafted by the Houston Oilers and played six games in his only NFL season.

Glen Redd - Linebacker, BYU

1981 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 166
New Orleans Saints

Redd played five seasons in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts. He had two interceptions and one career sack.

Lloyd Jones - Wide Receiver, BYU

1981 NFL Draft
Round 8, Pick 195
New York Jets

Eric Lane - Running Back, BYU

1981 NFL Draft
Round 8, Pick 196
Seattle Seahawks

Lane played seven seasons in the NFL all with the Seattle Seahawks. He rushed for 405 yards and four touchdowns and caught 4 passes for 357 yards and two touchdowns in his career.

Steve Folsom - Tight End, Utah

1981 NFL Draft
Round 10, Pick 261
Miami Dolphins

Folsom played six seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys. His only two full seasons came with the Cowboys where he caught 37 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns.

James Murphy - Wide Receiver, Utah State

1981 NFL Draft
Round 10, Pick 266
Minnesota Vikings

Murphy played two seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and Kansas City Chiefs. He caught two passes for 36 yards in his NFL career. He moved to the Canadian Football League where he played eight seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was the CFL's most outstanding player in 1986 and led the Bombers to three Grey Cup wins. He finished his CFL career with 9,036 receiving yards and was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Bob Gagliano - Quarterback, Utah State

1981 NFL Draft
Round 12, Pick 319
Kansas City Chiefs

Gagliano played twelve seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers. He also played in the USFL for the Denver Gold.

Jim McMahon - Quarterback, BYU

1982 NFL Draft
Round 1, Pick 5
Chicago Bears

McMahon played 15 seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers. McMahon led the 1985 Chicago Bears to a 15-1 record enroute to a Super Bowl win. McMahon also earned a second Super Bowl ring with the Green Bay Packers backing up Brett Favre.

Darryl Haley - Offensive Tackle, Utah

1982 NFL Draft
Round 2, Pick 55
New England Patriots

Haley played six seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers.

Del Rodgers - Running Back, Utah

1982 NFL Draft
Round 3, Pick 71
Green Bay Packers

Rodgers played four seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers. Rodgers won a Super Bowl ring with the 49ers during the 1988 season.

Dan Plater - Wide Receiver, BYU

1982 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 106
Denver Broncos

Plater was drafted by the Denver Broncos but never played a game in the NFL.

Jack Campbell - Tackle, Utah

1982 NFL Draft
Round 6, Pick 144
Seattle Seahawks

Campbell played one season in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and one seasons in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders.

Mike Perko - Defensive Tackle, Utah State

1982 NFL Draft
Round 6, Pick 155
Pittsburg Steelers

Perko played one season in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and recorded a sack.

Steve Clark - Defensive End, Utah

1982 NFL Draft
Round 11, Pick 239
Miami Dolphins

Clark played four seasons in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.

Wayne Jones - Tackle, Utah

1982 NFL Draft
Round 10, Pick 276
Miami Dolphins

Jones played one season in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings. He also played in the USFL with the Los Angeles Express.

Larry Hogue - Defensive Back, Utah State

1982 NFL Draft
Round 10, Pick 278
Cincinnati Bengals

Hogue was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals but never played in the NFL. He played nine seasons in the CFL for teams in Ottawa, Saskatchewan and Calgary.

Tom Holmoe - Defensive Back, BYU

1983 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 90
San Francisco 49ers

Holmoe played six seasons in the NFL all with the San Francisco 49ers. He recorded seven career interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. He won three Super Bowls with the 49ers before retiring due to injury.

Maurice Turner - Running Back, Utah State

1983 NFL Draft
Round 12, Pick 325
Minnesota Vikings

Turner played three seasons in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and New York Jets.

Chuck Ehin - Defensive Tackle, BYU

1983 NFL Draft
Round 12, Pick 329
San Diego Chargers

Ehin played for five seasons in the NFL, all with the Chargers. He recorded 9.5 sacks in his career.

Todd Shell - Linebacker, BYU

1984 NFL Draft
Round 1, Pick 24
San Francisco 49ers

Shell (pictured wearing number 90) played four seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers. He had seven sacks and five interceptions, one of which he returned 53 yards for a touchdown.

Patrick Allen - Defensive Back, Utah State

1984 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 100
Houston Oilers

Allen played seven seasons in the NFL with the Houston Oilers. He recorded seven career interceptions.

Andy Parker - Tight End, Utah

1984 NFL Draft
Round 5, Pick 127
Los Angeles Raiders

Parker played seven seasons in the NFL with the Los Angeles Raiders and San Diego Chargers.

Aaron Smith - Linebacker, Utah State

1984 NFL Draft
Round 6, Pick 159
Denver Broncos

Smith played one season in the NFL with the Denver Broncos.

Sam Slater - Tackle, Weber State

1984 NFL Draft
Round 7, Pick 189
Seattle Seahawks

Slater was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks but never played a game in the NFL.

Kirk Pendleton - Wide Receiver

1984 NFL Draft
Round 11, Pick 304
San Francisco 49ers

Pendleton was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers but did not play a game in the NFL.

Theodis Windham - Defensive Back, Utah State

1984 NFL Draft
Round 12, Pick 329
Seattle Seahawks

Windham was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks but did not play a game in the NFL.

Steve Young - Quarterback, BYU

1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL players
Round 1, Pick 1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Young was selected as the first overall pick in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL Players by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after playing two seasons with the Los Angeles Express. After two lackluster seasons in Tampa Bay, Young was traded to the San Francisco 49ers as a back up to Joe Montana. After a series of injuries to Montana, Young took over as a starter. While he was with San Francisco, the 49ers had three Super Bowl victories. He was named MVP of Super Bowl XXIX, was NFL MVP twice, was selected to seven pro bowls and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He played 14 seasons in the NFL.

Gordon Hudson - Tight End, BYU

1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL players
Round 1, Pick 22
Seattle Seahawks

Hudson played two seasons in the USFL for the Los Angeles Express before being drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and CFL players. He played one season in the NFL with the Seahawks.

Hal Garner - Linebacker, Utah State

1985 NFL Draft
Round 3, Pick 63
Buffalo Bills

Kyle Morrell - Defensive Back, BYU

1985 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 106
Minnesota Vikings

Morrell played one season in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.

Louis Wong - Guard, BYU

1985 NFL Draft
Round 5, Pick 131
St. Louis Cardinals

Wong was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals but did not play a game in the NFL.

Lee Johnson - Kicker, BYU

1985 NFL Draft
Round 5, Pick 138
Houston Oilers

Johnson played 18 seasons in the NFL with the Houston OIlers, Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles. In Super Bowl XXIII he set a record for the longest punt in a Super Bowl, with a 63-yard kick. His longest punt was 76 yards which he kicked in 2001 while with the Patriots.

Mike Hamby - Defensive Tackle, Utah State

1985 NFL Draft
Round 6, Pick 141
Buffalo Bills

Hamby played on season in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills, recording a sack.

Jim Herrmann - Defensive End, BYU

1985 NFL Draft
Round 7, Pick 184
Dallas Cowboys

Herrmann was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys but did not play a game in the NFL.

Robbie Bosco - Quarterback, BYU

1986 NFL Draft
Round 3, Pick 72
Green Bay Packers

Bosco was drafted by the Green Bay Packers but did not play a game in the NFL.

Erroll Tucker - Defensive Back, Utah

1986 NFL Draft
Round 5, Pick 122
Pittsburgh Steelers

Tucker played two seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. He also played for the Orlando Thunder of the World League of American Football and the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL.

Leon White - Linebacker, BYU

1986 NFL Draft
Round 5, Pick 123
Cincinnati Bengals

White played eight seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams. He had six career sacks and four career interceptions.

Solomon Miller - Wide Receiver, Utah State

1986 NFL Draft
Round 6, Pick 157
New York Giants

Miller played two seasons in the NFL with the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Ed Berry - Defensive Back, Utah State

1986 NFL Draft
Round 7, Pick 183
Green Bay Packers

Berry played two seasons in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers. He played nine seasons in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos, Memphis Mad Dogs Toronto Argonauts.

Filipo Mokofisi - Linebacker, Utah

1986 NFL Draft
Round 8, Pick 200
New Orleans Saints

Mokofisi was drafted by the New Orleans Saints but did not play a game in the NFL. He played one season in the CFL with the BC Lions.

Kurt Gouveia - Linebacker, BYU

1986 NFL Draft
Round 8, Pick 213
Washington Redskins

Gouveia played 13 seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Charges. He recorded five sacks and 12 career interceptions including one in Super Bowl XXVI which the Redskins won. He also played for the Las Vegas Outlaws in the XFL.

Cary Whittingham - Linebacker, BYU

1986 NFL Draft
Round 9, Pick 230
Cincinnati Bengals

Whittingham played one season in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams as a replacement player during the 1987 NFL strike.

Vai Sikahema - Running back, BYU

1986 NFL Draft
Round 10, Pick 254
St. Louis Cardinals

Sikahema played eight seasons in the NFL with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. Sikahema was the first player of Tongan decent to play in the NFL. He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice during his career.

Glen Kozlowski - Wide Receiver, BYU

1986 NFL Draft
Round 11, Pick 305
Chicago Bears

Kozlowski played seven seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears.

Jeff Sprowls - Defensive Back, BYU

1986 NFL Draft
Round 12, Pick 320
San Diego Chargers

Sprowls was drafted by the San Diego Chargers but did not play a game in the NFL.

Shawn Knight - Nose Tackle, BYU

1987 NFL Draft
Round 1, Pick 11
New Orleans Saints

Knight played three seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos and Phoenix Cardinals. He also played one seasons in the World League of American Football with the Sacramento Surge.

Jason Buck - Defensive end, BYU

1987 NFL Draft
Round 1, Pick 17
Cincinnati Bengals

Buck played seven seasons in the NFL. He recorded 19 career sacks, and earned a Super Bowl ring with the Washington Redskins.

Mark Mraz - Defensive End, Utah State

1987 NFL Draft
Round 5, Pick 125
Atlanta Falcons

Mraz played two seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Raiders. He also played with the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Sacramento Gold Miners of the CFL.

Al Smith - Linebacker, Utah State

1987 NFL Draft
Round 6, Pick 147
Houston Oilers

Smith played 10 seasons in the NFL with the Houston Oilers. He recorded 5.5 career sacks and two interceptions.

Mark Bellini - Wide Receiver, BYU

1987 NFL Draft
Round 7, Pick 170
Indianapolis Colts

Bellini played two seasons in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.

Lakei Heimuli - Running back, BYU

1987 NFL Draft
Round 9, Pick 249
Chicago Bears

Heimuli played one season in the NFL with the Chicago Bears.

Rodney Thomas - Corner Back, BYU

1988 NFL Draft
Round 5, Pick 126
Miami Dolphins

Thomas played five seasons in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. He recorded one career sack and three career interceptions.

David Futrell - Nose Tackle, BYU

1988 NFL Draft
Round 12, Pick 313
New York Giants

Futrell was drafted by the New York Giants but did not play a game in the NFL.

Steve Kaufusi - Defensive End, BYU

1988 NFL Draft
Round 12, Pick 319
Philadelphia Eagles

Kaufusi played two seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, but did not record a statistic.

John Hunter - Tackle, BYU

1989 NFL Draft
Round 3, Pick 80
Minnesota Vikings

Hunter played four seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks.

Jeff Carlson - Quarterback, Weber State

1989 NFL Draft
Round 4, Pick 102
Los Angeles Rams

Carlson played three seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots. He finished his career with four touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Brent Snyder - Quarterback, Utah State

1989 NFL Draft
Round 7, Pick 192
Chicago Bears

Snyder was drafted by the Chicago Bears but never played a game in the NFL.

Kendall Smith - Wide Receiver, Utah State

1989 NFL Draft
Round 7, Pick 194
Cincinnati Bengals

Smith played two seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Rodney Rice - Defensive back, BYU

1989 NFL Draft
Round 8, Pick 210
New England Patriots

Rice played two seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Warren Wheat - Tackle, BYU

1989 NFL Draft
Round 8, Pick 215
Los Angeles Rams

Wheat played three seasons in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.