Tennessee: Breaking Down A.J. Johnson's Place on 1st 2015 NFL Draft Big Boards

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Tennessee: Breaking Down A.J. Johnson's Place on 1st 2015 NFL Draft Big Boards
Wade Payne/Associated Press

The Tennessee Volunteers' participation in the 2015 NFL draft should look a lot like the one just completed—with very few of coach Butch Jones' players hearing their names called.

However, rising senior middle linebacker A.J. Johnson should be an anomaly.

He has the potential to experience a similar surge to that of former UT offensive tackle Ja'Wuan James, who saw his stock rise all the way to the 19th overall pick to the Miami Dolphins last week.

Nobody is predicting the 6'2", 245-pound Johnson to go quite that high next year, but he returned for his senior season on Rocky Top to marinate in the college game for another year.

It didn't hurt that WNML's Jimmy Hyams reported he was projected as a third-day draft pick.

Even though the Vols have had some lean times in the draft and on the football field, Johnson has enjoyed a standout career.

He could help usher in an era reminiscent of a time when UT was churning out NFL talents. Historically, Saturday Down South's Jon Cooper notes that UT still has more draft picks than any other SEC team.

With a strong senior season, Johnson has the opportunity to add to that list and help keep the positive vibes swirling around Jones' program.

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