The NFL Draft is almost here, and a handful of Tennessee players should hear their names called on Friday and Saturday. The projections are all over the map, as they usually are after round one, but the most famous draft analyst of them all has Velus Jones Jr. staying in the state of Tennessee.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. projects Jones to land with the Tennessee Titans, coming off the board in the third round with the 90th overall selection. The Titans have a need a wide receiver after releasing Julio Jones, and with Robert Woods coming off of an ACL tear.
Here was Kiper’s take on the selection.
Tennessee doesn’t have its second-round pick because of last year’s Julio Jones trade, so it could use this pick to add a playmaker for Ryan Tannehill. Jones, who will be 25 years old when the 2022 season begins, is lightning quick (4.31 40 at the combine) and will help in the return game.
Jones did a little bit of everything for Tennessee in his one year playing for Josh Heupel. He manned the slot role, worked some down the field and also served as the kick returner. Jones could serve a similar role at the NFL level, and his stock was certainly boostered after a lightning fast 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine last month.
Various outlets disagree on Jones’ projection. Third round is about as high as you’ll see, while others project him to go sometime on day three.
Defensive tackle Matthew Butler has solidified himself in the round 3-4 conversation. Kiper has him coming off the board to Atlanta with the 82nd pick in this mock. Projections for cornerback Alontae Taylor and offensive lineman Cade Mays are tougher to pin down.
The NFL Draft is set to begin next week. It will run from April 28th through April 30th, with Las Vegas playing host.