Tennessee Football: Replacements for 5 Volunteers Who Went to NFL in 2014

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Tennessee Football: Replacements for 5 Volunteers Who Went to NFL in 2014
J Pat Carter/Associated Press

With the 2014 NFL draft in the books, it was a relatively light few days for the Tennessee Volunteers with only three former players taken.

Eight more signed contracts as undrafted free agents, according to UTSports.com.

Head coach Butch Jones wasn't taken by surprise with any of the departures, and his stout first full recruiting class, which was ranked seventh by 247Sports, addressed the holes left by those gone. 

While the youth movement that accompanies such a massive roster overhaul will be evident, they'll be thrown into the fire early and often thanks to all the players who graduated. For instance, the Vols don't have a single returning starter on either line of scrimmage.

Depth and experience are not assets Jones will have at his disposal in '14, even if there is a lot more talent on the roster than there was a season ago.

The best news for UT is it didn't lose any irreplaceable players. Even departed talents—such as a group of experienced offensive linemen who started for the better part of their careers—underachieved at times throughout their Volunteer careers.

A new crop of Vols will try to put four consecutive losing seasons behind them, and the first step in doing that is to fill the holes left by the guys who'll get to continue their careers on the next level.

Let's take a look at the replacements for those three drafted Vols, as well as a couple of valuable departed free agents.

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