DE: 1. Jonathan Kongbo 2. Deandre Johnson
DT: 1. Shy Tuttle 2. Quay Picou/Alexis Johnson
DT: 1. Kendal Vickers 2. Kahlil McKenzie
DE: 1. Darrell Taylor 2. Kyle Phillips
Thoughts: There will be quite a shake up on the defensive line in 2017 – especially at defensive end. Regulars Derek Barnett, Corey Vereen and LaTroy Lewis move on, and some newer faces, and perhaps some newer roles, will take shape next year. Jonathan Kongbo and Darrell Taylor have put themselves in position to start at the two end spots, though it will be interesting to see where Kyle Phillips factors in when he returns from injury this fall. It’s pretty much anybody’s guess behind those three.
Inside, it’s about getting healthy and getting deeper. Shy Tuttle is an All-SEC caliber player, but he’ll be recovering from his second major injury. He’ll be questionable for the start of the season. Kahlil McKenzie, also coming off a major injury, should be good to go by the fall, but he’s still looking to make consistent impact and he was limited this spring. Iron Man Kendal Vickers continues to be a reliable force inside. They’ll ask a lot of him in 2017. Between the newcomers, Quay Picou, Alexis Johnson, Paul Bain and anybody else on the roster, the Vols need a couple more guys to step up and be part of the rotation.