KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After well-publicized 2-year draft drought, Tennessee is expected to make a lot of noise during April’s 2017 NFL Draft.
The Vols sent 6 former players to the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine, a marquee event that started Tuesday and will run through March 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Tennessee is among the most well-represented teams in the country, with defensive end Derek Barnett and tailback Alvin Kamara hoping to solidify their stock as potential first-round picks.
Quarterback Josh Dobbs, wideout Josh Malone, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin and corner Cam Sutton will also participate in the combine over the next week.
Here’s a brief breakdown of when each player will work out for scouts and what each hopes to accomplish over the next several days.
RB Alvin Kamara — March 3
A junior tailback, Kamara saw his stock rise rapidly the past few weeks, with multiple mock drafts slotting the dynamic tailback as a first-round pick. If Kamara tests well, especially in the 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill and the interview portion of the process, he’ll cement his status at a late Day 1 pick.
QB Josh Dobbs — March 4
After a solid showing at the Senior Bowl, Dobbs has an opportunity to continue climbing draft boards with another strong performance. An aerospace engineering student, Dobbs will impress NFL personnel with his intellect, leadership and charisma. The key for Dobbs is to perform well in the workouts, mainly if he opts to throw.
WR Josh Malone — March 4
Malone elected to forgo his final season after a big junior season. He is among the more intriguing receiver prospects in the draft because teams aren’t sure about his athleticism. How will he run? What’s his vertical jump? How strong is he? These are all questions Malone must answer this week in Indy.
DE Derek Barnett — March 5
Barnett is lock to get drafted in the first round, but scouts remain wary of his explosiveness. Barnett, who left school after his junior season, racked up sacks and tackles for loss at Tennessee because of his ridiculous effort and skill. Neither trait translates to the combine. If he tests well, Barnett could be a top-10 pick.
LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin — March 5
Reeves-Maybin was a highly productive linebacker when he was on the field at Tennessee, but a shoulder injury spoiled his senior season and put his draft stock in question. While it’s unknown what he’ll be able to do at the combine, teams will get a chance to assess his health and durability.
CB Cam Sutton — March 6
Like Dobbs, Sutton showcased well at the Senior Bowl, displaying a bit of versatility by playing corner, nickel and safety. Sutton didn’t have a great senior season, mainly slowed by a broken foot, but he offers value as an experienced defensive back and explosive returner. If he times well enough, there could be even more buzz about Sutton over the next few weeks.
The 2017 NFL Draft begins April 27. Tennessee plans its annual NFL Pro Day for March 31 with a 9 a.m. ET start.
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