CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJHL) – A number of former Tennessee Volunteers have been waiting to hear their names called in the NFL Draft: Trey Smith, Josh Palmer and Bryce Thompson to name a few.
Palmer was the first to hear his name called, drafted in the 2nd round at No. 77 overall to the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Vols’ leading receiver caught 33 balls for 475 yards and four touchdowns in 2020’s abbreviated 10-game season, starting four of those games. In his career he made 99 receptions for 1,514 yards and seven trips to the endzone.
The Tennessee Titans made their 2nd and 3rd round selections, snagging North Dakota State offensive tackle Dillon Radunz with the No. 53 overall pick. The Titans hope this makes up for last year’s blunder, drafting offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson in the 1st round while Wilson played just four snaps for the team and was later cut.
Radunz was a key piece of the offensive line that protected quarterback Trey Lance, who was drafted No. 3 overall to the San Francisco 49ers. He started 31 games at left tackle in 2018-19 but only played in one game in 2020, as did Lance, a nonconference game in the fall before opting out of the spring FCS season to prepare for the Draft.
Tennessee’s 3rd round selection was at No. 92 overall, drafting former Georgia linebacker Monty Rice. The captain and three-year starter played middle linebacker on the Bulldogs defense that was ranked No. 1 in the nation in run defense.
Just eight picks later, the Titans selected former Washington defensive back Elijah Molden with the No. 100 overall pick, another 3rd round selection.