5. No. 2 wide receiver
We mentioned Velus Jones Jr. as the clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver. He’s the leading returner in production and was the top performer in the spring. However, the the spot to start alongside him is wide open right now, and there are lots of players who could take it.
In Josh Heupel’s system, Tennessee football runs two receivers and a utility player, who could be an all-purpose back or a third receiver. As a result, the fight to be the No. 2 receiver usually dictates how he runs that spot. Beyond Jones, there are plenty of guys with potential who have shown flashes for the role.
Cedric Tillman was the other top producer in the spring. If he or Ramel Keyton win the job, they would play more wideout. Jalin Hyatt is the rising star given his production last year. Mississippi State Bulldogs transfer JaVonta Payton brings a ton of experience. Jimmy Calloway and Jimmy Holiday are two more guys with lots of potential.
Then there are three newcomers in Walker Merrill, junior college transfer Andison Coby and Kaemen Marley, who was expected to play defensive back but is now getting a look at receiver. Heupel needs somebody among this group to emerge, and that’s bound to happen.