With so much talent exiting after the 2016 season, Tennessee and Butch Jones are going to need several players to step up and grow into their new roles. Naturally, new leaders and producers will emerge. Who will it be this season?
It’s a logical choice. Kongbo isn’t lacking on talent and underwhelmed last season in a limited role. The coast is clear for him to step up and replace some of the production that Derek Barnett left behind. Kongbo was forced to play inside, out of position while the Vols suffered through all of those freak injuries last year. He should return to the edge this year.
I’d add Darrell Taylor and Kyle Phillips to this list, both of which will be chasing down the quarterback along with Kongbo.
You could include either quarterback in this conversation, whoever it may be. Tyler Byrd and Marquez Calloway are darkhorse options here too. Both should see plenty of playing time with Josh Malone out of the picture.
I think my pick would have to be Ty Chandler, however. I know he’s going to be starting out behind John Kelly on the depth chart, but he’s going to get plenty of opportunities this season to run behind an experienced offensive line in a run heavy attack. It should be fun to watch him in a big role as a true freshman.
Who is your pick?