Shining on #ProDay 🍊🏈
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) March 19, 2018
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s outgoing football players were running, lifting, catching, cutting and jumping all over the Neyland Thompson Sports Complex on Monday.
It was the Vols annual pro day, and 31 of the NFL’s 32 teams had representatives on hand to get a closer look at Tennessee talent.
Rising stars John Kelly and Rashaan Gaulden impressed with their quickness and ball skills, while tight end Ethan Wolf and return man Evan Berry improved their draft stock with strong workouts.
Tennessee did not release the times from the pro day this year as it had in previous seasons, likely a result of new coach Jeremy Pruitt opening his tenure with more conservative policies in the interest of protecting the players.
Tennessee football player notes
• Kahlil McKenzie took part in some offensive line drills. The previous Vols’ staff had asked McKenzie to move from defense to offense, and some at the next level also believe this bright young prospect might ultimately be best suited for that side of the ball.
• Even Berry looked as explosive as ever, and he worked out as a receiver after playing safety during his career. Berry explained that playing defense was best for the team during his tenure, but in the pros he would like to play receiver in addition to having a primary role as a kick return man.
• Rashaan Gaulden is prepared to play safety, cornerback or nickel in the NFL, and his impressive 6-foot-1, 191-pound frame gives him the size and length to do so. Gaulden credited former coordinator Bob Shoop for playing a big role in his development and production last season.
• Kendal Vickers said he ran between a 4.9-second and 5.0-second 40-yard dash, depending on who was holding the stopwatch. Vickers talked with a Denver Broncos representative on Monday and was scheduled to meet with the New York Giants later. Vickers, at 294 pounds, said he’s versatile enough to play most any defensive line position.
• John Kelly ran a 4.50-second 40-yard dash and a 4.65, times that should be good enough to ensure he’s selected in the middle of the draft. Kelly said he benefitted from the opportunity to play in Butch Jones’ spread offense, like Alvin Kamara, showing the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield on different routes as well as run out of the shot gun set.
• Ethan Wolf said there was added pressure for him at pro day after he was surprisingly not invited to the NFL combine. Wolf said scouts are interested in his straight-line speed, but he wasn’t certain what his 40 time was. The tight end was one of the most impressive looking Tennessee players at the workout, turning heads of the scouts on hand.
• Trevor Daniel said he has been working to improve his hang time, looking to produce more fair catches in the pros. Daniel said his impressive combine numbers — 23 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press and a 32-inch vertical leap — likely won’t mean much at his position. Daniel said he just took part in those drills for fun.
• Colton Jumper said he’s add 12 or 13 pounds, up to 235, to improve his chances of making a roster at the next level. Jumper said he worked most on his speed during this offseason, and the linebacker felt he had a strong performance at pro day.
(The players above were the only ones to talk to the media at the NFL pro day workout in Knoxville).