5. Darrell Taylor, OLB
Darrell Taylor hasn’t been lackluster during his Vol career necessarily, but he’s been largely inconsistent when healthy.
Taylor redshirted his first season at Tennessee and needed to in order to put on weight. He was still a bit undersized in 2016 during his redshirt freshman year. It wasn’t until last year in his third year in the program that he actually began to really look like a defensive end. And he had a decent year last season, totaling 27 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and two passes defended.
But he, much like most of Tennessee’s defense, struggled with consistency. And the talented pass rusher has yet to truly live up to his four-star hype coming out of high school.
Entering his fourth year at UT, Taylor still has a lot of questions to answer. But a position switch to outside linebacker in the Vols’ new 3-4 defensive scheme should be very beneficial to his skill set, and that coupled with a renewed focus on defense by the Vols’ new coaching staff could help lead to Taylor’s breakout campaign at Tennessee.