The days of Tennessee being shut out of the NFL Draft are likely over. Jeremy Pruitt started from ground zero, but finally, the talent level is on the rise once again in Knoxville. This year’s senior class is small, but filled with guys that were vital to this football program. Each one will have a legitimate chance at the next level.
Let’s take a tour around some mock drafts to see where each is projected to land.
Easily the most projectable player for Tennessee, Taylor seems sharpied into day two. The senior edge rusher is currently being projected to land somewhere at the end of round two. As with all pass rushers, Taylor has a shot to really help himself at the NFL Combine.
The Athletic: 2nd round to the Titans
Tankathon: 3rd round the Raiders
TribLive: 2nd round to the Steelers
DraftTek: 2nd to the Seahawks
Baltimore Sun: 2nd round to the Seahawks
Projections for Jennings are all over the place at this point. I’ve seen everything from the second round to undrafted as analysts are split on his ability. He’s probably not going to test all that well athletically, but this is one player you just don’t need to overthink. The tape speaks for itself. My guess is that he’s going to make some team very happy in round three or four.
Baltimore Sun: 2nd round to the Eagles
Bleacher Report: 3rd round to the Ravens
Pewter Report: 6th round to the Buccaneers
After those two, Tennessee has four players that will absolutely draw at least some NFL interest. Daniel Bituli, Marquez Callaway, Nigel Warrior and Dominick Wood-Anderson each played in a senior all-star game in preparation for the upcoming draft. Will any of them hear their names called?
It’s possible, though it’s likely we’ll be waiting until round six or seven to find out.
My favorite of this group is probably Callaway, who never got to play in a high-flying passing attack. His ability to attack the football and win 50-50 ball situations alone should get him a shot to make a roster in training camp.
It’s been surprising to see the lack of traction for Bituli with the NFL to this point. He seems like a good enough athlete with clear on-field instincts and leadership qualities. Just pop on the Georgia State tape if you’re wondering how important he was to this Tennessee defense. Things changed in a hurry after he came back from injury.
Warrior really helped himself during his final season, emerging into a do-it-all safety for Tennessee after struggling through his first few seasons. He bought into Pruitt and Ansley’s system, and the results really showed. No longer was he a liability in run support, he turned himself into an asset. This could be a high-upside situation for a team late on day three.
Who will be the best pro of Tennessee’s 2020 senior class?