via UT Sports Information
Several VFLs are receiving buzz leading up to the NFL Draft, which runs April 27-29 in Philadelphia
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Several former Tennessee football standouts will look to hear their names called over the next three days during the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The first round of the draft will take place on Thursday, April 27, and begin at 8 p.m. ET. The second and third rounds are on Friday, April 28, starting at 7 p.m. ET. On Saturday, April 29, coverage of the fourth through seventh rounds begins at noon ET. ESPN, ESPN2 and NFL Network will have live coverage of the three-day event.
Tennessee football’s official social media accounts, @Vol_Football on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.com/VolFootball, will also have live, up-to-date coverage the Vols who are selected in this year’s draft.
VFL Derek Barnett has a first-round grade from various scouts and analysts and accepted an invitation to attend Thursday’s first round in Philadelphia. VFL Films and Vol Photos will be with Barnett during this exciting first step of his professional career.
Tennessee NFL Draft History
- Tennessee last had a player selected in the NFL Draft in 2014 when the Miami Dolphins selected Ja’Wuan James with the 19th pick the first round, the Kansas City Chiefs selected Zach Fulton with the No. 193 overall pick in the sixth round and the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Daniel McCullers with the No. 215 overall pick in the sixth round.
- UT has had two first-round draft picks in the same year nine different times (1984, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2010) with the last time in 2010 (Eric Berry, Dan Williams).
- The last time UT had 5 or more players drafted in a single year was 2010 (6). The last time UT had 7 or more players drafted in a single year was 2003 (8).
- Eleven defensive linemen have been drafted in the first round in UT history with the last coming in 2010 (Dan Williams).
- Nine running backs have been drafted in the first two rounds in UT history. The last first-rounder was Jamal Lewis in 2000 when the Baltimore Ravens selected him with the fifth overall pick. The last second-round UT running back was Montario Hardesty, who the Cleveland Browns took with the No. 59 overall pick.
- Since 1998, four Tennessee quarterbacks have been drafted. In 1998, the Indianapolis Colts selected Peyton Manning with the No. 1 overall pick. In 2000, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Tee Martin with the No. 163 overall pick (fifth round). In 2008, the New York Jets selected Erik Ainge with the No. 163 overall pick (fifth round). In 2010, the San Diego Chargers drafted Jonathan Crompton with the No. 168 overall pick (fifth round).
- VFL Eric Berry (first round, fifth overall to the Kansas City Chiefs) was the last Tennessee defensive back to be selected in the first three rounds.
- Tennessee last had three defensive players selected in the same draft in 2007, when the Green Bay Packers took defensive tackle Justin Harrell in the first round (No. 16), the Kansas City Chiefs took defensive end Turk McBride in the second round (No. 54), the St. Louis Rams took cornerback Jonathan Wade in the third round (No. 84) and the New Orleans Saints took linebacker Marvin Mitchell in the seventh round (No. 220).
VFLs Receiving 2017 NFL Draft Buzz
Tennessee’s 2016 Consensus All-American has a first-round grade following his outstanding junior season and impressive showings at the NFL Combine, UT Pro Day and individual workouts. ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have Barnett as their No. 13 overall player in their final top 300 rankings and NFL Network Mike Mayock has him rated at No. 17 in his top 100. From 2014-16, Barnett played in 39 games, totaling 197 tackles (131 solo) and a Tennessee program-record 33.0 sacks. He tallied a career-best 13.0 sacks, including the 33rd of his career against Nebraska in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl to break the previous record of 32.0 held by the late great Reggie White since 1983. Barnett’s 52.0 career tackles for loss rank second in Tennessee history only to Leonard Little’s program-record 53.0.
Kamara has received first-round and second-round buzz and many analysts have been impressed by his speed and versatility. McShay has him as his No. 40 overall player and No. 4 overall running back. Mayock rates Kamara as his No. 27 overall player. He was one of Tennessee’s four team captains in 2016 and again proved to be one of the SEC’s most dynamic playmakers. As a redshirt junior, he ran for 596 yards and nine touchdowns on 103 carries (5.8 average) and caught 40 passes for 392 yards (9.8 average) and four scores. He also returned 18 punts for 184 yards (10.2 average). Kamara led the Vols with 1,188 all-purpose yards (seventh in the SEC) in 2016 and tallied 13 total touchdowns, which tied for third in the SEC. Kamara set a new Tennessee record with 312 all-purpose yards against Texas A&M on Oct. 8, rushing for 127 yards on 18 carries and catching eight passes for 161 yards. He and Jamal Lewis (1997 against Kentucky) are the only two Vols to record 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in the same game.
Dobbs impressed scouts and NFL team personnel at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine and during his throwing drills at Tennessee’s Pro Day. He recently took part in SportsCenter Special: Gruden’s QB Camp and Jon Gruden said, “Russell Wilson had it, Dak Prescott has it, this kid has it.” Dobbs enjoyed the best season of his distinguished Tennessee career in 2016, completing 63.0 percent of his passes with career highs of 2,946 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also rushed for Tennessee quarterback records of 831 yards and 12 touchdowns on 150 carries. In SEC games, Dobbs’ 151.5 passer efficiency rating, 23 total offensive touchdowns, 316.9 total offensive yards per game and 8.6 yards per attempt led the league. He earned All-SEC honors and will compete in the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 28. Dobbs, who was one of four team captains in 2016, was one of the key leaders in Tennessee’s program turnaround over the past four years. He finished his UT career with a 23-12 record as a starter and his 9,360 yards of total offense (7,138 passing, 2,160 rushing, 62 receiving) rank third in Tennessee history.
Malone, who Kiper ranks as his No. 78 overall player, ran an outstanding 4.40 in his 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, which was good for the third-best time among receivers. His 4.40 40-yard time was the fastest time by a Vol since VFL Robert Meachem clocked a 4.39 in at the 2007 NFL Scouting Combine. Malone was faster than VFL Marquez North’s 4.48 at the 2016 NFL Combine, VFLs Cordarrelle Patterson’s 4.42 and VFL Justin Hunter’s 4.44 in 2013, VFL Denarius Moore’s 4.45 in 2011. In 2016, Malone posted career and team highs of 50 receptions, 972 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns. His 972 receiving yards rank 10th in Tennessee single-season history and were the most by a Vol since Justin Hunter had 1,083 in 2012. He ranked third in the SEC in both receiving yards and touchdowns. His 11 receiving touchdowns tied for the third-most in UT history and were the most since Robert Meachem had 11 in 2006. Malone’s 19.4 yards per reception also set a new UT single-season record for receivers with a minimum of 50 catches. He finished his UT career with 104 receptions for 1,608 yards and 14 touchdowns and declared for the NFL Draft on Jan. 3.
Sutton is rated No. 94 in McShay’s Top 300 players and No. 79 in Mike Mayock’s Top 100 and stood out at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine and Tennessee’s Pro Day. Sutton was a shutdown cornerback for the Vols for four-straight years. He was limited to six games this past season due to an injury he suffered against Ohio on Sept. 17 and returned to action against Kentucky on Nov. 12, recording a pair of pass breakups to break Jabari Greer’s UT career record for passes defended. He finished the year with 23 tackles, two tackles for loss, one interception, and five passes defended. In 45 games played, Sutton amassed 127 tackles (111 solo), 13.0 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, 37 passes defended, one sack, three forced fumbles and three fumbles recovered. His 37 career passes defended are a Tennessee record. In 2015, Sutton earned Sporting News First Team All-America honors as a punt returner after leading the nation with an 18.7-yard average and returning two punts for touchdowns. His 14.6 career punt-return average (minimum 30 returns) is the best in Tennessee history.
Reeves-Maybin competed in linebacker drills at the NFL Scouting Combine and impressed NFL team personnel at the Tennessee Pro Day. Kiper rates him as the No. 134 overall player in his Top 300. Reeves-Maybin played in only four games in 2016 due to a shoulder injury that ended his season on Oct. 18. He posted 20 tackles and two tackles for loss in those four games. Reeves-Maybin posted 100-tackle seasons in 2014 and 2015. He enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign in 2014 with 101 stops, 2.0 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one interception. In 2015, Reeves-Maybin tallied 105 tackles, 6.0 sacks, 14 TFLs, two forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered and four passes broken up. Over his four-year career, Reeves Maybin played in 41 games, recording 240 tackles (149 solo), 7,0 sacks, 27 TFLs, two forced fumbles, four fumbles recovered, one interception and four pass breakups.
Vereen made both Kiper’s Top 300 (No. 263) and McShay’s Top 300 (No. 295). He enjoyed an outstanding senior year, posting 36 tackles (23 solo) and setting career highs with 7.0 sacks, 11.5 tackles for loss, two fumbles recovered and three pass breakups. He also had five quarterback hurries. Over his four years on Rocky Top, the defensive end played in 48 games, making 29 starts, and recorded 13.0 sacks, 26.0 tackles for loss, three fumbles recovered, five pass breakups and 18 QB hurries. Vereen was one of the most respected leaders on Tennessee’s defensive line and shined as both a run stopper and a pass rusher.
McShay ranks Croom as his No. 270 overall player in his Top 300. Croom returned to action in 2016 as a fifth-year player, switching positions from wide receiver to tight end. He finished the year with 21 catches for 242 yards and his blocking contributed to a UT running game that averaged 205.2 yards per game. Over his five-year Tennessee career, Croom played in 39 games and made 60 catches for 816 yards and six touchdowns. On Jan. 15, Croom competed in the 2017 Tropical Bowl at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium, earning MVP honors after catching two touchdowns for the National Team.
Kiper rates Wiesman as his No. 20 center. Wiesman was one of the key leaders on Tennessee’s offensive line over the last four years, playing in 46 games with 25 starts. He is capable of playing every position on the line and as a senior in 2016 he played in 10 games with four starts at right guard and six starts at center, helping pave the way for 5,768 yards of offense (2,668 rushing, 3,100 passing). Wiesman, who also earned Academic All-District honors in 2016, graduated early in December with a degree in Kinesiology.
ESPN: Mel Kiper Jr.’s Final Big Board (Top 300)
ESPN: Todd McShay’s Final Top 300
NFL Network: Mike Mayock’s Top 100
ESPN: Mel Kiper Jr.’s Final Position Rankings
Joshua Dobbs: No. 6 quarterback
Alvin Kamara: No. 8 running back
Josh Malone: No. 8 wide receiver
Jason Croom: No. 31 tight end
Dylan Wiesman: No. 20 center
Derek Barnett: No. 5 defensive end
Corey Vereen: No. 21 defensive end
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: No. 11 outside linebacker
Cameron Sutton: No. 18 cornerback
ESPN: Todd McShay’s Final Position Rankings
Joshua Dobbs: No. 5 quarterback
Alvin Kamara: No. 4 running back
Josh Malone: No. 13 wide receiver
Jason Croom: No. 18 tight end
Derek Barnett: No. 2 defensive end
Corey Vereen: No. 26 defensive end
Jalen Reeves-Maybin: No. 10 outside linebacker
Cameron Sutton: No. 15 cornerback
2017 NFL Draft
FIRST ROUND ORDER
- 1. Cleveland Browns
- 2. San Francisco 49ers
- 3. Chicago Bears
- 4. Jacksonville Jaguars
- 5. Tennessee Titans (from Rams)
- 6. New York Jets
- 7. Los Angeles Chargers
- 8. Carolina Panthers
- 9. Cincinnati Bengals
- 10. Buffalo Bills
- 11. New Orleans Saints
- 12. Cleveland Browns (from Eagles)
- 13. Arizona Cardinals
- 14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings)
- 15. Indianapolis Colts
- 16. Baltimore Ravens
- 17. Washington Redskins
- 18. Tennessee Titans
- 19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 20. Denver Broncos
- 21. Detroit Lions
- 22. Miami Dolphins
- 23. New York Giants
- 24. Oakland Raiders
- 25. Houston Texans
- 26. Seattle Seahawks
- 27. Kansas City Chiefs
- 28. Dallas Cowboys
- 29. Green Bay Packers
- 30. Pittsburgh Steelers
- 31. Atlanta Falcons
- 32. New Orleans Saints (from Patriots)
LAST VOL SELECTED IN ROUND 1
2014: Ja’Wuan James, No. 19, Miami Dolphins
LAST VOL DL SELECTED
2014: Daniel McCullers, No. 215, Pittsburgh Steelers
LAST VOL RB SELECTED
2010: Montario Hardesty, No. 59, Cleveland Browns
LAST VOL QB SELECTED
2008: Erik Ainge, No. 162, New York Jets
LAST VOL WR SELECTED
LAST VOL DB SELECTED
2010: Eric Berry, No. 5, Kansas City Chiefs
LAST VOL LB SELECTED
2008: Jerod Mayo, No. 10, New England Patriots
LAST VOL TE SELECTED
2013: Mychal Rivera, No. 184, Oakland Raiders