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Tennessee Football 2013 NFL Draft Tracker and Analysis

Randy ChambersAnalyst IApril 19, 2013

Tennessee Football 2013 NFL Draft Tracker and Analysis

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    The Tennessee Volunteers may not have been so hot as far as winning football games lately, but producing elite NFL talent hasn't changed over the years when it comes to this program. When the 2013 NFL Draft gets underway, there will once again be a lot of former Volunteers NFL franchises can choose from. 

    Majority of the talent in this year’s class is on the offensive side of the ball. Everything from a quarterback, offensive lineman and multiple receivers, Tennessee will be well represented in this year’s draft. Many folks out there have had fun picking on the lack of success on the football field, but there aren't many schools that are this deep when it comes to next level talent.

    Enjoy the moment Tennessee fans; this is another class that won't let you down.

    Here is your complete Tennessee 2013 NFL Draft preview.

     

    Note: This slideshow will be updated as each Volunteer is selected throughout the NFL draft.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR

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    Where He Was Selected: First Round - 29th Overall to the Minnesota Vikings

    Minnesota needed help at wide receiver with Percy Harvin skipping town, so picking up Cordarrelle Patterson makes perfect sense. A playmaker with the ball in his hands, Patterson could have a similar impact as Harvin did back in the days. Arguably the most complete receiver in this class, Patterson is terrific value in the late first round.

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 216 pounds

     

    It may not get much better than Cordarrelle Patterson at the wide receiver position. In fact, Matt Miller considers him to be the best receiver in this draft and compares him to a terrific wideout who is already established at the next level.

    Patterson is not only a sure-handed receiver, but what separates him is his ability to make plays after the catch. His vision of the field, quick feet and the way he is able to hit another gear in the open field, Patterson has that explosive ability that not too many receivers have. Capable of beating defenses over the top and consistently finding ways to get open, Patterson appears to be the real deal.

    Some would question the fact he only had one true season playing against elite competition, but that won't stop a team from drafting him in the first round.

Justin Hunter, WR

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    Where He Was Selected: Second Round - 34th Overall to the Tennessee Titans

    Pretty cool to see Hunter will stay in-state and play for the Tennessee professional team. Hunter is arguably the most talented receiver in this class. He can beat a defense over the top and can make plays after the catch. The Titans needed a big-play receiving threat and Hunter brings that and more.

    Height: 6'4

    Weight: 196 pounds

     

    If Justin Hunter didn't tear his ACL and miss majority of his second year, he would be a lot higher on NFL draft boards. He has the prototypical combination of size and speed to be an outside receiver at the next level but has experience lining up just about anywhere on the field for Tennessee. He catches just about anything you throw his way with his strong hands and is capable of breaking tackles in the open field with his large frame.

    With concerns about his durability, Hunter will fall a bit in the draft but is one of the best receivers in this class from a pure talent standpoint.

Dallas Thomas, OG

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    Where He Was Selected: Third Round - 77th Overall to the Miami Dolphins

    Thomas is a versatile lineman, and he will be excepted to play right tackle or guard for the Miami Dolphins. With his great size, mean streak and athleticism, Thomas is a terrific value pick in the middle of the third round. He should fit in with what Miami is trying to do on offense.

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 300 pounds

     

    Any time you have an offensive lineman that can play multiple positions; you are certainly getting your value as an NFL franchise. Dallas Thomas could play either tackle position or even lineup at guard, as he has done all of the above for the Tennessee Volunteers. Thomas has great size, long arms and bends his knees well to prove to be a force against the pass rush.

    His feet aren't the quickest in the world, but he is strong at the point of attack and has a bit of mean streak going as well.

Mychal Rivera, TE

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    Where He Was Selected: Sixth Round - 184th Overall to the Oakland Raiders

    Oakland could use help on both sides of the ball and that includes playmakers on offense. Mychal Rivera isn't much of a blocker, but he can get down field and is about as sure-handed as you can find in a tight end. He knows how to slip behind a defense and can help stretch the field. Rivera should have no problem making a roster, and he will look good in silver and black.

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 242 pounds

    As crazy as it may sound, Mychal Rivera is the fifth Tennessee pass-catcher that has a chance to hear his name called in this draft alone. Somebody in the Volunteers coaching staff was doing something right in recruiting all of this talent.

    Rivera can help out a team that is looking for a tight end that can help move the chains. With big hands, an ability to make tough catches and a ton of athletic ability, Rivera knows how to get open and is a reliable receiver. He isn't much of a blocker and doesn't have much straight-line speed, but he is capable of working the middle of the field and catches nearly everything thrown his way.

Tyler Bray, QB

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    Where He Was Selected: Undrafted Free Agent

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 232 pounds

     

    Even in a quarterback class that doesn't have that one standout, Tyler Bray is considered much of an afterthought. Whether it is his inability to step into his throws, his wacky fundamentals or the fact that he can get careless with the football, Bray should be considered a project for any team that decides to select him in the draft.

    However, Bray does have a great deal of arm strength, the overwhelming confidence is there and he can simply pick defenses apart once he gets a groove going. The problem is that the consistency isn't quite there yet. I think another year of school would have benefited Bray greatly, but he should still be considered a middle-round pick.

    Matt Miller lists Bray as the sixth best quarterback in this class.

Da'Rick Rogers, WR

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    Where He Was Selected: Undrafted Free Agent

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 217 pounds

     

    Once Da'Rick Rogers was suspended from Tennessee for violation of team rules, the talented receiver ended up transferring last season to Tennessee Tech. Technically he isn't a Volunteer anymore, but it is still worth mentioning him on this list due to this being his original school. After all, he would have still played for Tennessee if he wasn't a knucklehead.

    These off-the-field issues often scare NFL teams away and almost always hurt a player's draft stock.

    As for his play on the field, Rogers obviously has the size to get the job done. He also has experience of lining up in the slot or outside and is one of the tougher receivers you can find. Rogers is a physical player who can go across the middle and make those tough catches, but he is also willing to help out in the blocking department.

    As you can see in the video, Matt Miller thinks Rogers has first-round talent, but believes character issues could knock him down to the third round.

Zach Rogers, WR

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    Where He Was Selected: Undrafted Free Agent

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 172 pounds

     

    Another Tennessee wide receiver? You bet.

    Zach Rogers won't receive nearly the same praise as his former teammates and will have to wait a while to hear his name called, but he should have little trouble making an NFL roster. Rogers is most known for his route-running and ability to get open, as he has a quick burst and knows how to work a defense. He also has big hands that allow him to catch the ball away from his body and secure the reception.

    Rogers isn't the biggest wide receiver you will find and isn't the most athletic, but he is productive and will make a living doing all of the little things correctly.

    Matt Miller listed Rogers as the 28th best receiver in this NFL draft class.

Herman Lathers, LB

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    Where He Was Selected: Undrafted Free Agent

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 234 pounds

     

    If there is any defensive player that has a chance to get drafted this year for Tennessee, it would be linebacker Herman Lathers.

    He is a smart player with a terrific work ethic, who relies on instincts and a high football IQ to make plays. His lack of size can make him a liability in run support, but he is quick and can cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time.

    Lathers would probably fit best in a 4-3 system as a weak-side linebacker, where he can make plays in space and use his athleticism.

    Matt Miller did not include Lathers on his NFL big board, but that doesn't mean there isn't a chance he won't get selected in the late part of the draft.

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