We answer your questions about Tennessee athletics and anything else in our weekly mailbag, Insider Mailing.
“Where do you see guys such as Cam Sutton, Reeves-Maybin and Corey Vereen being drafted?” – Tyler
Daniel: I hate it for Sutton, but he’s fallen back more into the middle rounds in my mind. Maybe as high as second if he tests well and teams understand that he was playing hurt late in his career, but maybe more like third or fourth. Fifth or sixth for Reeves-Maybin – great value pick who can help on special teams and be a really good nickel linebacker and maybe grow into a full-time starter. Corey Vereen could sneak in late, but probably an undrafted free agent.
Nathanael: I think Sutton goes in the fourth round at this point because of how his senior season played out. I’ve heard from a couple different analysts that he may be better off trying it in the NFL as a safety even. I don’t necessarily disagree with that. I’m also saying JRM goes in the sixth or seventh, and I truly think Vereen sneaks in there in the sixth or seventh as well with the worst case scenario being undrafted free agent for him. I think JRM could end up as one as well. His injury concerns may be bigger among scouts than we think.
“Which cast member in “The Office” most accurately represents Butch Jones?” – Nick Weathers
Daniel: He and Michael have some differences, but I think of this scene sometimes when Butch is talking. I imagine some higher-ups telling him to maybe cut down on the cliches and championship of life/bowl championship talk, and he tries so hard, but ultimately can’t resist:
Nathanael: Daniel and I have discussed this both on and off air, and it’s absolutely Michael Gary Scott. Because I also feel like Butch likes to start sentences and sometimes doesn’t know where they’re going. Yet it somehow finds its way (usually back to recruiting).
“What don’t you want to find in your stadium Petro?” – @UmbrAndrew
Daniel: Now I’m paranoid. I’m going to have to look for a search firm to look through mine in the future.
Nathanael: Part of Neyland Stadium. Because that thing is so old and falling apart in some places, I’m afraid bits of it may fall into the food there.
“Josh Dobbs will be a permanent starting QB for an NFL team at some point….Yes/No?” – @HinsonLain
Daniel: No. I’d take him as Marcus Mariota’s backup next year, however.
Nathanael: I would be shocked if he was the full-time starting QB for an NFL franchise. He could be a fill-in starter, but Dobbs is likely just going to be in the league 4-6 years, make a few million, then get out and go make more millions over at NASA or something.
“Better movie, Force Awakens or Rogue One?” – @EdgeofSunset
Nathanael: I loved Force Awakens. I really did. But Rogue One is better. It’s a little unfair to compare the two because the narratives are so vastly different, but if I had to pick, it’s Rogue One. The cinematography, writing, and themes are done so effectively. Also thought it blended nostalgia with new content a bit better than Force Awakens.
“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if that woodchuck was Jim McElwain?” – Tony Nathan
Daniel: He’s chucked his way to Atlanta twice, so that’s worth something.
Nathanael: That man’s chompers would make a horse proud. But, as Daniel said, he’s won the East the past two years. So there’s that.
“Is Tennessee officially 2nd tier under Butch and administrative leadership (currently)? Top 10 all time obviously.” – Monte Massongill Jr.
Daniel: That’s tough to define. I don’t think Tennessee is an elite program right now, but I’d say Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Florida State and maybe Oklahoma are the only teams that can really claim that. Behind them, I think there are maybe 20 teams that could make a championship run if everything fell the right way in a given year. I think Tennessee is one of those teams, so I guess that would make them second tier in my book. It’s still a great program and a great job, though.
Nathanael: It depends on your definitions of first and second tier, but they certainly aren’t on par with any of those teams Daniel named above. So if that’s your first tier, then yes, Tennessee is second tier. Because they have the talent and (for the most part) the staff to go out and compete for championships. This is still a top 15 job when things are actually functioning at a decent capacity.
“Did David Blackburn straight up windmill dunk on this Charlie Anderson guy and emasculate him for DB to allegedly be disliked so much by him?” – @yaboydoc
Daniel: I’m not going to pretend to know every back-room issue that’s going on, but I think it’s clear that this whole situation wasn’t handled well. If the goal was to get Dave Hart out, they should’ve gone ahead and made the move over the summer and then moved decisively towards finding a replacement – whether that be Blackburn, Phillip Fulmer or some sitting AD from elsewhere.
Nathanael: Clearly UT’s boosters and higher-ups aren’t on the same page. We don’t have to be privy to every secret meeting to know that. You can just look at their actions (or inaction) and see that. But I don’t know specifically if Anderson dislikes Blackburn or what happened there. But this hire should’ve happened months ago. I don’t know why the administration has chosen the path it has, but it’s even more embarrassing to the university and Vol fans when you look at how Florida and Alabama have handled their AD situations. Florida’s Jeremy Foley announced his retirement in the summer and they had a replacement for him in September. Alabama had a replacement for their AD within 24 hours. This has been and will remain ridiculous even after a hire is made.