1. Cade Mays
Nobody is surprised by this one. After transferring to Tennessee football last year, Cade Mays didn’t get to start until the second week of the season due to the NCAA and SEC delaying his eligibility waiver. Still, he ended up appearing in seven games for the Vols and made six starts at right guard specifically, which is why we have him here.
The 6’6″ 325-pound senior is the most recognizable player on UT with the most NFL Draft potential and the most talent of any projected starter. Mays will be the anchor of the line, and given his versatility, he’s expected to fill the void left by Trey Smith. He’s best at right guard, which is why we have him here, but he and Jerome Carvin could play on opposite sides as well.
2. Javontez Spraggins
Last year, Javontez Spraggins was a surprise freshman to see the field early. He was a three-star across the board and moved ahead of Jackson Lampley and Chris Akporoghene in the rotation, both of whom were four-stars and had been in the system for a year.
As a result, it’s safe to say Spraggins will be back in the rotation this year. The 6’3″ 320-pound sophomore is in line to replace Mays in 2022, as he played in eight games last year and didn’t allow a sack or pressure while playing right guard.