Tennessee Volunteers' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

Written by:
February 24, 2022
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Tennessee Volunteers' highest NFL draft picks since 1970

While most colleges and universities field a football team as part of its general athletics program, there are some for which football is more than merely a sport—it’s akin almost to a religion. Devotion to the team and its colors is as important to that school’s culture as a religious icon is to a believer. These programs actively scout and recruit notable high school players, and are in turn rigorously applied to by matriculating seniors eager to make a name for themselves at the collegiate level.

Among the most notable college football empires are Notre Dame, the universities of Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, Penn State, Ohio State—the list goes on and on.

But for every touchstone football school, there is an outlier that has produced some of the most successful and cherished players in the game. Think Jackson State, which gave us “Sweetness” himself, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton. Or Mississippi Valley State, which yielded 3-time Super Bowl champion and #1 Player in NFL History, as voted by the NFL Network, ‘49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Each year, the college draft serves as a source of renewal to professional football and a testament to the quality of college programs nationwide. With the 2022 NFL draft set to take place April 28-30 in Las Vegas, Stacker compiled a list of the highest NFL draft picks from the Tennessee Volunteers using data from Pro Football Reference. Ties were broken by the most recent year drafted.

#20. Clyde Duncan (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #17 overall in 1984
- Drafted by: St. Louis Rams
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#19. Jason Allen (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #16 overall in 2006
- Drafted by: Miami Dolphins
- Years as a starter in NFL: 1 (0 Pro Bowls)

#18. Justin Harrell (DT)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #16 overall in 2007
- Drafted by: Green Bay Packers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#17. Albert Haynesworth (DT)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #15 overall in 2002
- Drafted by: Tennessee Titans
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (2 Pro Bowls)

#16. Anthony Miller (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #15 overall in 1988
- Drafted by: San Diego Chargers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 10 (5 Pro Bowls)

#15. Roland James (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #14 overall in 1980
- Drafted by: New England Patriots
- Years as a starter in NFL: 8 (0 Pro Bowls)

#14. Derek Barnett (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #14 overall in 2017
- Drafted by: Philadelphia Eagles
- Years as a starter in NFL: 3 (0 Pro Bowls)

#13. Donte' Stallworth (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #13 overall in 2002
- Drafted by: New Orleans Saints
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#12. Shaun Ellis (DE)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #12 overall in 2000
- Drafted by: NY Jets
- Years as a starter in NFL: 11 (2 Pro Bowls)

#11. Alvin Harper (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #12 overall in 1991
- Drafted by: Dallas Cowboys
- Years as a starter in NFL: 4 (0 Pro Bowls)

#10. Anthony Hancock (WR)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #11 overall in 1982
- Drafted by: Kansas City Chiefs
- Years as a starter in NFL: 0

#9. Jerod Mayo (LB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #10 overall in 2008
- Drafted by: New England Patriots
- Years as a starter in NFL: 7 (2 Pro Bowls)

#8. Terry McDaniel (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #9 overall in 1988
- Drafted by: Los Angeles Raiders
- Years as a starter in NFL: 9 (5 Pro Bowls)

#7. John Henderson (DT)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #9 overall in 2002
- Drafted by: Jacksonville Jaguars
- Years as a starter in NFL: 8 (2 Pro Bowls)

#6. Antone Davis (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #8 overall in 1991
- Drafted by: Philadelphia Eagles
- Years as a starter in NFL: 6 (0 Pro Bowls)

#5. Charles McRae (T)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #7 overall in 1991
- Drafted by: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#4. Jamal Lewis (RB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #5 overall in 2000
- Drafted by: Baltimore Ravens
- Years as a starter in NFL: 9 (1 Pro Bowls)

#3. Eric Berry (DB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #5 overall in 2010
- Drafted by: Kansas City Chiefs
- Years as a starter in NFL: 5 (5 Pro Bowls)

#2. Heath Shuler (QB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #3 overall in 1994
- Drafted by: Washington Football Team
- Years as a starter in NFL: 2 (0 Pro Bowls)

#1. Peyton Manning (QB)
- Draft pick: Round 1, #1 overall in 1998
- Drafted by: Indianapolis Colts
- Years as a starter in NFL: 17 (14 Pro Bowls)

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