There were zero former Tennessee Vols selected in the 2019 NFL Draft a year ago.
It was the third time in five years that Tennessee didn’t have any players drafted.
In 2020, however, the Vols will almost certainly have a couple of players drafted.
There are five former Vols who are expected to draw interest from NFL teams in April’s draft.
- Jauan Jennings — WR
- Darrell Taylor — LB
- Daniel Bituli — LB
- Dominick Wood-Anderson — TE
- Marquez Callaway — WR
So how many of them will actually be drafted?
Surprisingly, according to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler (who is usually spot on), only two former UT players are being projected to hear their names called during the draft.
Brugler predicts that Jauan Jennings and Darrell Taylor will be day two or day three selections. He predicts the other three players will be priority free agents.
The most surprising prediction from Brugler is Callaway. I know he’s not going to blow by defenders in the NFL, but he still has the potential to be a valuable red zone target. Callaway has an elite ability to high point a football and win 50/50 catches. Teams that have experienced trouble in the red zone could benefit from having Callaway on their roster. He’s absolutely worth a late round pick.
Jennings’ combine times probably won’t be that great. And as Brugler notes, NFL teams are more “traits based” instead of “production based”. That could cause Jennings to fall (though I think he’ll still provide a lot of value to a NFL team).
Taylor is a player that I think could jump into the first round if he has an impressive combine. He really evolved as a player under Jeremy Pruitt during his final two years at Tennessee. Taylor has a lot of potential that’s yet to be unlocked, and finding an edge rusher is one of the most important things an NFL team can do in the draft.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone reach a bit for Taylor.
Daniel Bituli could hear his name called if he improves his stock during the combine and pro-days. Dominick Wood-Anderson has NFL potential, he just didn’t get to show it much at Tennessee. I would’t be shocked to a see a team take a flier on him in the late rounds.
Featured images via Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports/Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports