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First look at Tennessee's 2023 potential NFL Draft picks

The 2022 NFL Draft is in the books and the Tennessee Volunteer football team had five players selected in this prior draft which is their most since they had six players hear their name called back in 2017.

Here is the list of Vols players who were taken in the 2022 NFL Draft:

DB Alontae Taylor: Second round (49th overall) to the New Orleans Saints

WR Velus Jones Jr.: Third round (71st overall) to the Chicago Bears

DL Matthew Butler: Fifth round (175th overall) to the Las Vegas Raiders

OL Cade Mays: Sixth round (199th overall) to the Carolina Panthers

DB Theo Jackson: Sixth round (204th overall) to the Tennessee Titans


Get the latest college football odds and see what Volunteer players might hear their name called for the 2023 NFL Draft. Tennessee is looking to build upon these five players taken and could even surpass that seven player mark from just a few years ago.

For the players with consideration, below is a list of just some of those guys.

Byron Young, defensive end

Young likely has the best chance to be taken as an early round pick, but only if he can take another step forward. In 2021, he has 11½ tackles-for-loss and 5½ sacks along with eight quarterback hurries in just 11 games.

Cedric Tillman, wide receiver

Scouts will no doubt take a closer look at how he gets open on deep passes without elite speed. That's why his draft stock will depend partially on how fast he runs the 40 at the NFL combine. A comparable former Tennessee player may be Josh Malone, who was picked in the fourth round of that 2017 draft.

Hendon Hooker, quarterback

Head coach Josh Heupel and others did a good job in making Hooker such a good quarterback in Knoxville. The Virginia Tech transfer wasn't even committed to this staff but the school itself, and that move staying paid off and he had one heck of a season in 2021. Hooker took over the starting job and never looked back after an injury to Joe Milton, this ended up being in one of the best seasons Tennessee fans have ever seen at the quarterback position.

Darnell Wright, left tackle

Wright is a former five-star recruit has been good but not great during his career at Tennessee, he has seen been a versatile player and lining up at few different spots on the line of scrimmage. In his freshman year he started five games at right tackle, plus say action in sight at guard. He moved back outside to right tackle in 2020, before settling in at left tackle in 2021 and becoming an anchor on this Tennessee offensive line.

This is just a few of the Tennessee players who have a good shot to be drafted but this could be a breakout year for many others and the Volunteers might likely surprise some teams this year.

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