Tennessee football’s five QBs with greatest NFL careers

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Quarterback Peyton Manning
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - FEBRUARY 04: Quarterback Peyton Manning /
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Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images /

These Tennessee football Volunteers quarterbacks had the best pro runs.

Note: This is part of a series of posts looking back on Tennessee football players who had the best NFL careers at each position.

Despite being known for great NFL talent and also producing great college quarterbacks, Tennessee football doesn’t have the best run producing elite pro quarterbacks. There are numerous reasons for that, but it’s the case.

Yes, there’s one major exception to that rule, but the Vols quarterbacks have tended to be more successful playing baseball instead of heading to the NFL. Currently, UT has two quarterbacks on NFL rosters, but neither of them has ever started a game.

That is the story of Tennessee football quarterbacks. Some have actually been major busts, but most just didn’t head to the pros with high expectations to begin with. So who actually stands out among these guys?

Well, in this post, that’s what we’re going to break down. This is a look at the greatest pro careers of quarterbacks who played at UT. Ironically, some of the top guys on the list would be the last guys in anybody’s mind, as they wouldn’t make any top 10 list for quarterbacks on Rocky Top.

For this list, we only go as far back as Dewey Warren, who started for Doug Dickey’s Vols from 1965 to 1967. That’s when UT went away from the single-wing to the T-formation, so it was the first time that what would be looked at as the modern-day quarterback appeared in Knoxville.

Since then, there have been star quarterbacks in other leagues, including the Canadian Football League and the Arena Football League. However, the NFL has somehow eluded lots of Vols quarterbacks who appeared to have the talent to start at that level.

Which ones broke through? Just how successful, at all, were their careers at the next level? Well, some of these guys could be on the list by default. Let’s go ahead and break all of that down now. These are the five greatest pro careers of quarterbacks who played for Tennessee football.