Stop me if you’ve heard this before — a former Tennessee Vols player that was underutilized in Knoxville could end up being a huge steal in the NFL Draft.
Sounds familiar, right?
That’s because it’s happened a lot over the last several years.
Players like Alvin Kamara, Marquez Callaway, Emmanuel Moseley, and Shy Tuttle entered the draft process without much hype, due to not reaching their full potential at Tennessee.
Kamara was a steal for the Saints in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft (he’s reached four Pro-Bowls during his first four years in the league). Callaway, Moseley, and Tuttle were all undrafted free agents. And they’re now all playing key roles for their respective franchises.
It looks like another former Vol could be joining that group.
Wide receiver Josh Palmer is widely viewed by draft analysts as a player who will be selected at some point on day two of the 2021 NFL Draft.
And according to Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, Palmer could be a massive steal if that’s where he’s selected.
Nagy appeared on 104.5 the Zone with Buck Reising on Friday to discuss the 2021 NFL Draft and he showered Palmer with praise.
“Josh is really one of the most overlooked receivers in this draft in my opinion,” said Nagy. “You look at the numbers and they don’t jump out at you, but that’s a function of the offense up there (at Tennessee).
“You look at his skill set, he plays faster than he’s timed — he was in the low 4.5 at pro-day — he can stretch the field,” added Nagy. “He plays more like a mid 4.4 guy.”
“Josh is fearless. He is a really, really tough guy. He will go over the middle, he will expose himself. Not afraid to get hit. Showed up as a route runner here (at the Senior Bowl) better than what you saw at Tennessee. Josh is a really good all-around receiver. And he’s mature. And he’s smart. Someone is gonna get a steal.”
Palmer, who is from Canada, caught 99 passes for 1,514 yards and seven touchdowns during his career on Rocky Top. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping, but that’s because Palmer played in a rudderless offense during his four years at Tennessee (he also played behind Marquez Callaway and Jauan Jennings for his first three years at UT).
Perhaps a team will recognize Palmer’s talent and take him a bit earlier than he’s been projected. If not, Palmer will be another entry into the ever-growing book of “Former Vols who were underutilized at Tennessee only to go on to have a successful NFL career”.
The title’s a bit wordy, but it gets the point across.
Featured image via Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports/Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports