We’ve seen Jeremy Pruitt lead Tennessee football to a promising future, and the Vols could lead the SEC in players drafted next year.
If I told you that Tennessee football could lead the SEC in players drafted in 2021 a couple of years ago then you probably would’ve laughed at me. I probably would have laughed at me. But it looks that could be a possibility when it comes to the 2021 NFL Draft.
Even if Tennessee doesn’t lead the SEC, they could have a lot of players drafted and be near the top with some of the best programs in the country.
WalterFootball has already released its way too early 2021 mock draft, and two Tennessee players appeared in the first round.
Trey Smith was mocked to be drafted No. 15, and Cade Mays was mocked to be drafted No. 21. Not too shabby for a program that had zero draft picks a couple of years ago.
Assuming that comes true and both Smith and Mays are drafted, I don’t think the Vols will be done after those two.
Rocky Top Insider listed ten potential Tennessee players that could get drafted in the 2021 Draft. Along with Smith and Mays, the list included Bryce Thompson, Alontae Taylor, Emmit Gooden, Josh Palmer, Shawn Shamburger, Aubrey Solomon, Brent Cimaglia, and Jarrett Guarantano.
As of right now, I can see six or maybe seven of those ten players getting drafted. I think JG and Cimaglia are the most unlikely as of right now. JG is going to have to have a career year in 2020 if he hopes to get drafted, and Cimaglia will most likely need to be a top-five kicker in the country if he wants to be a sixth or seventh-round pick.
Other than that, Solomon, Shamburger, and Palmer could be late-round draft picks, but they can’t slack off this fall. They’re going to need to stand out in film and in real-time. Palmer has a great opportunity to be the No. 1 receiver on the Vols’ roster this fall, and if he is and he is successful throughout the season, then he could be a third or fourth-round pick.
LSU led the nation with the most players drafted this year with 14, Michigan and Ohio State finished with ten, and Alabama had nine. Tennessee can be at the top next year, but they’re going to need to see more than seven of those ten players have a really good season to put them in a spot to get drafted.