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2024 NFL Draft: Sacramento’s Laiatu Latu becomes first defensive player selected

(FOX40.COM) — The 2024 NFL Draft began on Thursday and Laiatu Latu, who was born in Sacramento and attended Jesuit High School in Carmichael, became the first defensive player taken off the board in the first round.

Latu, a 23-year-old defensive end who attended college at UCLA, was selected 15th overall by the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday.

According to NFL.com, Latu, who drew comparisons to Pittsburgh Steelers star pass-rusher T.J. Watt, is an NFL-ready prospect who has “a rare kind of maturity that you usually see from NFL veterans.” The website also said that Latu is “easily the most skilled pass rusher in the draft.”

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NFL analyst Field Yates said on X, “Laiatu Latu had the best tape of any defensive player in the draft… He’s as advanced of a pass rusher as you’ll find coming out of college…if his health holds up, that’s an absolute steal for the Colts.”

The Sacramento-born defensive end joins an Indianapolis Colts team that finished third out of four teams in the AFC South one year ago.

Offensively, the team will be led by Anthony Richardson, who was drafted in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Defensively, the team is led by former San Francisco 49er DeForest Buckner and Zaire Franklin, who was second in the NFL last season in tackles.

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