3 great landing spots for each of the 6 Vols NFL Draft prospects and last Vol drafted for all 32 teams

COLUMBIA, MO – NOVEMBER 23, 2019 – Wide receiver Jauan Jennings #15 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Missouri Tigers and the Tennessee Volunteers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, MO. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

What are three teams that would be great landing spots for each of the six University of Tennessee players that have at least a shot at being drafted in this week’s NFL Draft?

These aren’t the teams with the biggest needs or any one specific criteria for the player/team match. The three teams listed are situations that would be great for each player for various reasons. These great landing spots also apply for any undrafted free agents from the group. As two UDFAs from UT showed last season, if you land in the right spot with an opportunity to win a job, you can stick. Defensive linemen Shy Tuttle (Saints) and Kyle Phillips (Jets) both had successful rookie seasons.

In my exercise, I did not duplicate any teams for more than one player. 18 different teams were chosen, so I had to decide which was the best fit when I only had to choose one team. It was fun and something I hadn’t done in several years.

I’ve also listed the last VFL drafted by the team listed. Below the player matches, at the bottom, I listed the last time a Vol was selected from the other 14 teams, so you can track all teams with VFLs during the draft. Last VFLs drafted do not include one-time Vols that left and finished their college playing days at another school.

You’ll find potential Vol teammates for each player’s landing spots listed as well. Find the full list of 34 current VFLs in the NFL on my blog post here.

Darrell Taylor (OLB/DE/Edge)

New York Giants
There are NYG coaching staff connections with his former LB coach Kevin Sherrer and new strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald. I personally think Taylor is more effective with his hand down rushing the passer, which would lead you towards him being a 4-3 DE. However, plenty of 3-4 teams have shown interest in him as an OLB. Plus, base defenses in the league are decreasing each year in their snaps played with nickel and dime defenses expanding in the new passing NFL. Taylor is scheme versatile and the G-men need more guys that can get after the QB.
Last Vol selected by NY Giants – DB Gibril Wilson (5th Rd #184) in 2004
Current Potential VFL Teammate – DB Rashaan Gaulden

Minnesota Vikings
There’s a reason Taylor’s been mocked in Minnesota frequently. That’s because the departing Everson Griffen leaves a big void at DE. The Vikings could address another need in the first round, opening the door to jump on Taylor in the 2nd or 3rd round. Taylor would also get to join a very competitive team and step into a pretty good defense, overall, joining Knoxville’s Harrison Smith.
Last Vol selected by Minnesota – WR Cordarrelle Patterson (1st Rd #29) in 2013
Current Potential VFL Teammate – P Britton Colquitt

Las Vegas Raiders
Taylor just seems like a Raider, doesn’t he? He plays with an edge and feistiness while possessing the athletic traits the team normally covets. If Jon Gruden checks in with former Raiders assistant coach Derrick Ansley about Taylor, I’m thinking his DC in Knoxville will vouch for him. Chucky didn’t draft any Vols last year, but I can see he and Mike Mayock being excited about filling a need from the SEC. Gruden’s Zoom call was a hint right? #Grumors
Last Vol selected by Las Vegas – TE Mychal Rivera (6th Rd #184) in 2013
Current Potential VFL Teammate – DL Kendal Vickers

Jauan Jennings (WR)

Tennessee Titans
My conversation with Titans play-by-play voice Mike Keith reaffirmed my opinion that Jauan Jennings is a Titans type of player with his toughness, leadership, nastiness, play-making ability and more. There’s also a need fit there to improve the WR depth, three through five.
Last Vol selected by Tennessee – WR Justin Hunter (2nd Rd #34) in 2013
Current Potential VFL Teammate – OLB Jordan Williams

New Orleans Saints
The opportunity to get at least one year working with Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, VFL Alvin Kamara and Sean Payton would be gold for Jennings. Plus, the Saints fan base will embrace and love “the dawg” in Jauan very quickly.
Last Vol selected by New Orleans – RB Alvin Kamara (3rd Rd #67) in 2017
Current Potential VFL Teammates – RB Alvin Kamara and DL Shy Tuttle

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jauan’s father, Bennie, spent some time with the Buccaneers. Think Jennings would be motivated and engaged out of the gate in his NFL career with Tom Brady and all those other weapons? Yeah, the top receivers are set, but there are backup spots to be had. Bruce Arians would let Jennings’ personality shine through as long as he put in the work. I expect that would happen and “The Juice Man” would positively impact that team.
Last Vol selected by Tampa Bay – TE Luke Stocker (4th Rd #104) in 2011
Current Potential VFL Teammate – None

Marquez Callaway (WR)

Arizona Cardinals
Love the thought of Callaway learning the position and, maybe more importantly, learning how to be a professional from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald. There would be a strong opportunity to make the team, especially with his special teams return ability.
Last Vol selected by Arizona – DL Dan Williams (1st Rd #26) in 2010
Current Potential VFL Teammate – None

Denver Broncos
Callaway’s WR coach when he was a freshman at UT is the WR coach with the Broncos, Zach Azzanni. Coach Z has always been a believer in Callaway, going back to recruiting. Plus, with as good as Drew Lock is going to be (my favorite QB before last year’s draft) with that rocket arm, that would be a ton of fun for Callaway.
Last Vol selected by Denver – DT Malik Jackson (5th Rd #137) in 2012
Current Potential VFL Teammate – RT Ja’Wuan James, ILB Alexander Johnson and P Trevor Daniel

Jacksonville Jaguars
Callaway could return to Jacksonville, site of his last collegiate game (Gator Bowl) for the Vols. He’d also be reunited with his former QB at UT, Joshua Dobbs. Plus, he’d have a great chance at playing and contributing on that team. Oh, and he’s told us he likes the warm weather.
Last Vol selected by Jacksonville – DT John Henderson (1st Rd #9) in 2002
Current Potential VFL Teammate – QB Joshua Dobbs

Daniel Bituli (LB)

Baltimore Ravens
B-more loves big linebackers that have pass rush ability and Bituli fits the bill with position and scheme versatility. Baltimore is also very thin with their inside backers. He brings special teams value that the Ravens covet as well.
Last Vol selected by Baltimore – DT Abrayo Franklin (5th Rd #146) in 2003
Current Potential VFL Teammate – LS Morgan Cox

Buffalo Bills
This is like Taylor with the Raiders. He just looks like a Bills player to me. Buffalo also likes the big LBs with athleticism to run down offensive players (see Tremaine Edwards, who needs a backup, btw.)
Last Vol selected by Buffalo – LB Dominique Stevenson (7th Rd #260) in 2002
Current Potential VFL Teammate – TE Jason Croom

Houston Texans
This is another team that employs big, athletic linebackers. In fact, the Texans have brought in a lot of those from the SEC, including starters Zach Cunningham (Vandy) and Benardrick McKinney (Miss St.)
Last Vol selected by Houston – OG Fred Weary (3rd Rd #66) in 2002
Current Potential VFL Teammate – OG Zach Fulton

Nigel Warrior (S)

Kansas City Chiefs
Nigel’s father, Dale Carter, was a 12-year pro and a star in KC, so this would be a neat story. Learning under Mathieu and Sorenson for the Super Bowl champs would keep his development going that we saw his senior season being coached by Derrick Ansley and Jeremy Pruitt.
Last Vol selected by Kansas City – OL Kahlil McKenzie (6th Rd #198) in 2018 *Last Vol Drafted overall
Current Potential VFL Teammate – P Dustin Colquitt

Atlanta Falcons
The Duluth, Georgia native would return home. Atlanta really likes SEC players. There’s a big need to improve and develop depth in the secondary with all the injuries they have suffered the last two years. Warrior would be ecstatic if he lands in the ATL.
Last Vol selected by Atlanta – Demetrin Veal (7th Rd #238) in 2003
Current Potential VFL Teammate – QB Matt Simms

San Francisco 49ers
John Lynch recognizes an underrated talent with college production (Deebo Samuel and others.) He strikes me as a GM that would be intrigued by the family lineage of Warrior. Oh, and you think he knows the safety position? Look at all the one-time teammates Warrior would be reunited with.
Last Vol selected by San Francisco – DE Parys Haralson (5th Rd #146) in 2006
Current Potential VFL Teammate – DB Emmanuel Moseley, DE Jonathan Kongbo plus one-time Vols WR Jalen Hurd & TE Daniel Helm

Dominick Wood-Anderson (TE)

New England Patriots
This would be more about culture and opportunity best case scenario for DWA than necessarily predicting that New England would draft him.
Last Vol selected by New England – LB Jerod Mayo (1st Rd #10) in 2008
Current Potential VFL Teammate – TE/HB Jakob Johnson

Miami Dolphins
With a league-high 14 draft picks, Miami can take a chance on a talent that didn’t have the expected production in college. There’s a need to upgrade the pass catching TEs there.
Last Vol selected by Miami – OT Ja’Wuan James (1st Rd #19) in 2014
Current Potential VFL Teammate – None

Washington Redskins
For some reason, the Redskins love SEC tight ends (Sprinkle, Thomas, Hentges and others in recent years.) We’ll see if it stays that way under new coach Ron Rivera. With the TE position being light in the draft, there could be an opportunity for him in DC, most likely as an undrafted free agent.
Last Vol selected by Washington – LB Kevin Smith (7th Rd #250) in 2006
Current Potential VFL Teammate – None

Last Time a UT Player Was Drafted From Other 14 Teams
Panthers: DB Rashaan Gaulden (3rd Rd #85) in 2018
Bears: DB Jeremy Lincoln (3rd Rd #80) in 1992
Lions: LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (4th Rd #124) in 2017
Rams: RB John Kelly (6th Rd #176) in 2018
Jets: QB Erik Ainge (5th Rd #162) in 2008
Eagles: DE Derek Barnett (1st Rd #14) in 2017
Steelers: DB Cameron Sutton (3rd Rd #94) in 2017
Bengals: WR Josh Malone (4th Rd #128) in 2017
Browns: RB Montario Hardesty (2nd Rd #59) in 2010
Cowboys: LB Kevin Burnett (2nd Rd #42) in 2005
Packers: DT Justin Harrell (1st Rd #16) in 2007
Colts: OG Jacques McClendon (4th Rd #129) in 2010
Chargers: QB Jonathan Crompton (5th Rd #168) in 2010
Seahawks: DT Rashad Moore (6th Rd #183) in 2003

The Chicago Bears have gone the longest since it last drafted a player from the University of Tennessee, 1992.

Visit our NFL Draft Central Page on our website. Join us for a live First Round Draft Special on 99.1 The Sports Animal this Thursday night with Will West, myself and many other rotating station hosts breaking down the draft picks before and after they happen. Our NFL Draft coverage is presented by UT Athletics. Get your tickets at AllVols.com!



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