Tennessee Football: Vols’ 2023 NFL Draft Recap, Takeaways, more

The 2023 NFL Draft wrapped up a few days ago, and several former Tennessee Football stars were drafted into the NFL. 

After a long anticipated wait, Tennessee Football fans finally got to see where the stars from last year’s team got drafted to in the NFL. This year’s Draft was extraordinarily unpredictable and full of ups and downs, making it a sight you didn’t want to miss. Here’s a recap of where all the Former Vols landed, a few takeaways, and more.

Tennessee Football’s 2023 NFL Draft Recap

Darnell Wright – Rd. 1, No. 10 Overall, Chicago Bears:

I predicted this pick to a T in my Mock Draft earlier last week, and he landed right where I had expected. The top position the Bears needed in this year’s Draft is an offensive lineman. Darnell Wright is arguably the best offensive lineman in this draft class. He was incredible at the NFL Combine and the Tennessee Pro Day and will be a fantastic addition to the Bears.

Hendon Hooker – Rd. 3, No. 68 Overall, Detroit Lions:

Hooker fell much further than I had expected in my Mock Draft, which caught me by surprise. Many people think Hendon is too old, too injured, or whatever excuse they may use, and it showed in the Draft as he slipped to the third round. In my opinion, Hendon Hooker is hands down the best Quarterback in this Draft, and the Lions got the steal of the Draft, in my opinion, with Hendon Hooker at pick 68. Hendon Hooker wasn’t going to show up on day one and be a starter, but starting as the backup behind Jared Goff until he fully heals and learns the offense could be a perfect scenario for Detroit.

Jalin Hyatt – Rd. 3, No. 73 Overall, New York Giants:

Hyatt also fell in the Draft, which had much to do with how he performed at the NFL Combine and Tennessee Pro Day. Following Hyatt’s breakout season last year for the Vols, winning the Biletnikoff award and putting up record numbers, many scouts had eyes on Jalin as a late first-round draft pick. However, that didn’t happen the way many people thought it would. Hyatt should fit well into the Giants offense and will likely turn into a strong WR2 for the Giants in his rookie year.

Cedric Tillman – Rd. 3, No. 74 Overall, Cleveland Browns:

Many people forget how good Cedric Tillman was during his 1,000-yard season with the Vols before getting injured last year. Tillman and Hooker were unstoppable, and I think he will be an incredible asset to Deshaun Watson in Cleveland.

Byron Young – Rd. 3, No. 77 Overall, Los Angeles Rams

NFL.com Scouting Report, according to NFL Draft analyst Lance Zierlein:

“An explosive edge defender with disruptive play qualities, Young is still in the process of learning how to play his position. His rush hands lack skill and he’s missing go-to counters, but that could be coachable for him. He creates chaos when using his twitchy first step to slant and twist but still needs to tune up the stack-and-shed technique and build out a cohesive rush approach. He will be a 25-year-old rookie with a lack of polish for his age, which could be a deterrent for some teams, but a fully fueled motor and strong desire to make plays on the other side of the line of scrimmage give him a shot to become a capable pro.”

Tennessee Football’s Undrafted Free Agent Signings

Princeton Fant – Undrafted Free Agent, Dallas Cowboys

Jerome Carvin – Undrafted Free Agent, Kansas City Chiefs

Jeremy Banks – Undrafted Free Agent, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Paxton Brooks – Undrafted Free Agent, Indianapolis Colts

LaTrell Bumphus – Undrafted Free Agent, New York Giants

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