VFLs Set For 2021 NFL Draft

Vols in the NFL Draft / Credit: UT Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – VFLs Trey SmithJosh PalmerBryce Thompson and Brandon Kennedy are set for the next chapter of their football careers as the three-day 2021 NFL Draft begins Thursday night in Cleveland.

Round one begins at 8 p.m. ET Thursday. Rounds two and three take place Friday with a 7 p.m. start. Rounds four through seven get underway at noon Saturday. ESPN, NFL Network and ABC will all carry it live.

Smith seeks to become the next great VFL offensive lineman at the next level. A starter in 41 career games, the Jackson, Tennessee, native saw action on over 2,500 snaps and allowed only one sack in his final two seasons.

Palmer’s draft stock has skyrocketed since the Senior Bowl. He looks to join an accomplished list of NFL VFL wide receivers. Jauan Jennings went to the San Francisco 49ers in last year’s seventh round, while Marquez Callaway established his presence as a rookie with the New Orleans Saints in 2020. Palmer caught 99 passes for 1,514 yards and seven touchdowns during his career.

Thompson, the UT single-game record holder for interceptions, tallied 19 passes defended, 102 tackles, eight tackles for loss and forced 10 turnovers during his career.

Kennedy, a 2020 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete, started 22 career games at center for the Vols. He played 507 offensive snaps this past season and allowed only one sack.

Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, Tennessee has produced 372 all-time draft picks, which dates back to 1936. That mark includes the AFL Draft, which merged in 1967.

-UT Athletics