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The Top Stories of 2017 in Tennessee Athletics

8. Tennessee Returns to the NFL Draft

Tennessee’s football team hadn’t had a player drafted into the NFL since the 2014 draft. The drought had ended a 50-year streak of Tennessee having a presence in the NFL draft.

But the 2017 draft finally saw the Vols get back into it. And they did so in a big way.

Derek Barnett, who broke Tennessee’s career sack record with 33 all-time sacks, went in the first round to the Philadelphia Eagles. Then five more Vols would get drafted. Running back Alvin Kamara was taken in the third round by New Orleans, cornerback Cam Sutton was drafted by Pittsburgh in the same round, linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin was selected in the fourth round by Detroit, wide receiver Josh Malone was picked by Cincinnati in the fourth round, and Josh Dobbs was also taken in the fourth round by Pittsburgh.

The six Vols selected in the 2017 draft were the most Vols taken in one draft since six Tennessee players were drafted in the 2010 draft. Barnett was the first Vol since Ja’Wuan James in 2014 to be drafted in the first round.

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