6’6″ 325 pounds
Is anybody surprised by this one? Cade Mays is the new Trey Smith, who was Tennessee football’s best player last year and a versatile offensive lineman. With Smith now gone, Mays is set to fill that role, and he’s going to do it well if healthy.
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We have Mays’ position very broad here, as it’s just on the offensive line. That’s because he’s the one lineman who truly can play any position at an All-SEC level. As a result, the coaches are likely going to place him where they need him the most. Being in such a position makes him easily one of the most likely starters on the team.
Mays himself is best at guard, and last year he mostly played right guard. As a result, if the coaches can keep him there, where he’ll start next to his brother Cooper Mays, they will. Obviously, as the one player who is in lots of mock NFL Draft projections for 2022, Mays is easily one of the safest players on the Vols’ roster.
After a roller coaster ride last year involving his transfer from the Georgia Bulldogs and then his late eligibility waiver to play, Mays should be settled in now. Expectations are for him to become a star, not just start, and that’s another reason he is so high on this list.