McShay Puts Two Vols In First Round

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    Photo Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI

    ESPN draft guru Todd McShay has Derek Barnett a little bit lower than some others in his most recent mock draft, but he does have something that others don’t – two Vols in his first round projections.

    McShay has Barnett going No. 21 to the Detroit Lions, a good bit lower than some other mocks that see him as a top 10-15 pick.

    “Barnett isn’t expected to put up big numbers during workouts, which could cause him to fall a bit in between now and late April,” McShay wrote (Insider link). “But he plays with good discipline, a consistent motor and impressive physicality. His production in the SEC the past three years is insane, including 52 TFLs and 33 sacks. The Lions have needs at every level of the defense, but pass-rusher tops the list.”

    And while he sees Barnett slipping a bit in the draft evaluation process, he sees Alvin Kamara as a prospect on the rise, enough so that he moved him into the end of the first round, projecting him to go to the Green Bay Packers at No. 29 overall.

    “Kamara is an underrated talent who will continue to rise as we get closer to the draft,” he wrote. “He has the vision and lateral quickness you look for in a runner and the power to break a lot of tackles. Kamara averaged 6.2 yards per carry, showing the ability to create plays on his own, which is among the most important things a back can do.”

    Tennessee is expected to have at least five to six players drafted in April: Barnett, Kamara, receiver Josh Malone, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin, cornerback Cam Sutton and quarterback Josh Dobbs are all among the draftable prospects for the Vols.