Not every Tennessee football legend made it to the pros. Here are the Top 10 Volunteers who never played in the National Football League.
Tennessee football has a deep history with the NFL. It’s one of the things Vols fans pride themselves on. They churn out talent even when they are down as a program and have historically dominated the SEC with representation in the pros.
However, you don’t have to have made it to the NFL to have been a great college player. Just look at the numerous Heisman winners who never made it. It’s clearly nowhere close to a barometer of being a great college player.
The same still holds true for Tennessee football. Despite so much NFL talent, the Vols have had plenty of great players that never got a shot at the pros. Those players remain adored on Rocky Top and always will be.
In this post, we’re going to rank the 10 best Vols who never made it to the pros. To be eligible for this list, a player could have been drafted. He could even have stats from a preseason game. But he can’t have any official appearance in a regular season NFL game. That eliminates guys even like Chris White, who didn’t make it really but did play one game at the next level.
Also, since this is more about meritocracy, we’re going to ignore players who played for the Vols before 1936. That was the first year of the NFL Draft and when the league officially organized itself. This eliminates guys like Bobby Dodd and Gene McEver, both of whom were early superstars for the Vols.
However, anybody else is fair game. So let’s go ahead and give a bit of glory to guys who never go to truly enjoy it at the next level. These are the top 10 Tennessee football players who never played in the NFL.