Kyler Kerbyson is a prime candidate to get Tennessee represented in the NFL Draft once again. He’d take pride in being able to do so.
“There’s a lot of players in the NFL that are from Tennessee and they wear it with pride,” Kerbyson said following his showing during Tennessee’s Pro Day on Wednesday. “We want to be seen as one of feeder teams to the NFL and a great place for people to go.”
That used to be the case, but no longer. The Vols didn’t have a player selected in the NFL Draft last year for the first time since 1963. Among Tennessee’s draft eligible players, Kerbyson and safety Brian Randolph seem like the best bets to have their name called in April.
Kerbyson said he felt like he performed well on Wednesday. He bench pressed 225 pounds for 32 repetitions.
“My target was 30,” Kerbyson said. “To surpass that was really good. I had gotten 30 before but that was it. Just adrenaline kicking and being able to finish like I did on the weight was good. I’m pretty excited about that.”
Most importantly, Kerbyson beat Randolph, who posted 31 repetitions on the bench press.
“I don’t want a 200 pounder to show me up,” Kerbyson said with a smile.
Speed may never be Kerbyson’s strong suit. However, he still managed a 5.2-second time in the 40-yard dash.
However, Kerbyson’s best attribute wasn’t actually on display on Wednesday. During his time at Tennessee, Kerbyson proved he can play any position on the offensive line.
Kerbyson started 26 games at Tennessee and played in 19 more. He was most often out of position. Better suited to play guard, Kerbyson was surprisingly effective at left tackle, which should make him more valuable to NFL executives.
“Versatility is huge in the NFL,” the 6-foot-4, 305-pound prospect said. “A lot of teams only travel seven or eight guys for a game so you have play multiple positions. If you have a guy that can play all five (positions), that’s pretty valuable to your team. And I’m one of those guys. I think teams see that and take a look at me.”
Kerbyson admitted that the pro day was a little odd. With representatives from 26 NFL teams on hand, there
were plenty of onlookers.
“It’s a little weird but you have to go into it like a job interview,” Kerbyson said. “A lot of people don’t realize when they come in as a freshman, one day, you’re going to leave and you have to figure out what you’re going to do with your life.
“You have to be ready for those scenarios where you’re going to have to impress somebody, whether it’s in the board room or out in the field. I think this program has really gotten me there, how to be professional.”