One reason why is because Tennessee has a multitude of talented players leaving the program. VFLs such as Marquez Callaway, Darrell Taylor, and others are looking to take their game to the next level and should hear their names called come April.
But one player is already making a name for himself and it really shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Jauan Jennings - one of the more memorable players in recent history - was mocked to the Green Bay Packers in Pro Football Focus’s mock draft that was released on Wednesday.
The thought of an Aaron Rodgers-to-Jennings hookup should bring a smile to many fans’ faces, but here’s the real kicker: PFF has Jennings being selected in the first round of the draft.
Jennings easily had the best year of his career in 2019. He finished with a 59-969-8 stat line that also included a 16.4 ypc mark, which were all career bests.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound redshirt senior was a dynamic playmaker in Jim Chaney’s offense, but he’s more than just a wide receiver. Jennings isn’t afraid to go block someone, he’s athletic enough to be used in end-arounds and designed runs, and he can also play quarterback if needed.
He can work the middle of the field and is a terror after the catch. All of his hard work helped him finish as UT’s fifth-leading receiver of all-time.
But with all that said, is he worth a first-round draft pick?
Jennings has all the tools to be a solid receiver in the NFL. The negatives would likely be a lack of top-end speed, concentration issues (at times), and he tends to drops some pretty catchable passes. His route tree also seems a bit limited, despite the fact that he ran pretty much the entire route tree at UT.
PFF draft analyst Mike Renner wrote the following about Jennings:
“This might be a bit of a surprise, but when you flip on the tape, you’ll see a rare skillset that is unmatched in this class. There are not many 6-foot-3, 210-pound wideouts who are as shifty after the catch as Jennings is. He broke 30 tackles on 59 catches this past season.”
It’s exciting to think Jennings could go in the first round with receivers like CeeDee Lamb, Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy, and others. If he is drafted in the first round, he will be the first Vol to be selected in the first round of the draft since Derek Barnett in 2017 and the sixth player taken in the first round since 2010.
What do you think? Is Jennings a first-round talent? It’s nothing against Jennings, it’s just an intriguing idea right now. Let us know in the comments below!!