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Cade Mays is heading to the NFL

Tennessee will be down to just one Mays brother on the OL next year

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Tennessee offensive lineman Cade Mays is declaring for the NFL Draft, per his Instagram account.

Since the print is kinda small here in the picture, Cade started with this:

“Being a kid from a small town in East Tennessee, it was an honor to wear orange and white and play at Neyland Stadium in front of all the amazing fans we have here in Knoxville.”

He went on to thank coaches, past and present, training staff members, his brothers and his teammates before making the decision official:

“I’m excited to continue to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL and will be entering the 2022 NFL Draft.”

The senior OL had the option to return to Tennessee for an extra year of eligibility, like QB Hendon Hooker, though I can’t blame him for opting for what’s likely to be a considerable payday instead.

Mays has been the poster child for OL versatility in college, making double-digit starts at both tackle and guard during his two seasons at Georgia and his two seasons with the Vols. Though at 6-6, 325, he possesses ample size to play tackle in the NFL, most folks who follow the draft have him projected as an interior OL at the next level.

Tennessee looks to return most, if not all, other integral pieces from this year’s offensive line next season, though it’s an area of concern for the team moving forward. Purdue frequently made Hendon Hooker uncomfortable with pressure in the pocket in the Music City Bowl, and the Vols allowed an SEC-worst 3.5 sacks per game this year.