Former Tennessee Vols defensive lineman Shy Tuttle went undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, but that didn’t stop him from making a big impact with the New Orleans Saints this season.

Tuttle, who was signed by the Saints as an undrafted free agent just after the 2019 NFL Draft, was named to the Pro Football Focus all-rookie team this week.

Here’s what PFF had to say about Tuttle’s rookie campaign:

Coming out of Tennessee, Tuttle was passed over by every team in the NFL before the Saints took him on as an undrafted free agent. That decision is looking like a good one through 17 weeks. Tuttle has been a rotational piece on the Saints’ defensive line, playing 340 defensive snaps across all 16 games this season and managing a 73.0 overall grade. That ranks 30th out of 117 qualifying interior defenders — not too shabby for an undrafted rookie.

Tuttle signed with Tennessee as a highly regarded four-star recruit in 2015, but the early part of his career on Rocky Top was derailed by injuries.

The North Carolina native, however, was finally healthy in 2018 (Jeremy Pruitt’s first season as UT’s head coach). Tuttle started all 12 games his senior year, totaling 33 tackles and one sack. His strong senior campaign was enough for the Saints to give him a shot.

In week 13 of the 2019 NFL season, Tuttle recorded his first career interception (against the Atlanta Falcons) and memorably delivered a vicious stiff arm to Matt Ryan.

Vol fans can add Tuttle to the list of NFL talent that was squandered by previous head coach Butch Jones.

Featured image via Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports


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