11. Trey Smith, OT
If not for health concerns, Trey Smith would easily be the No. 1 player on this list. If fully healthy, Smith is Tennessee’s top NFL prospect on the roster currently and could be a top 10 overall pick. Unfortunately for him and his pro career, his health is far from a guarantee.
Smith’s ongoing battle with blood clots in his lungs has marred what was one of the most promising football careers in recent UT history. Smith joined the Vols as a five-star prospect and the top player in the state of Tennessee in the 2017 recruiting cycle. It’s not often that players with that much hype coming into college live up to it, but Smith did just that. He was voted as a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America and was voted both a Freshman All-SEC performer and a Second-Team All-SEC player after the 2017 season.
Then, blood clots were discovered in Smith’s lungs. He had to sit out the entire spring for UT in 2018, and he was limited over the summer and slowly integrated into fall camp.
Smith began the 2018 season as a starter for the Vols on the offensive line, but he never really looked like his old self. Then the week of the Vols’ match-up with South Carolina, the blood clots were discovered in his lungs again, and Smith was sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Now, Smith’s ability to play football is completely up in the air. There’s a chance he may never see the field again. If he does, though, there’s a good chance he could get drafted if he performs well for the Vols.
Obviously, Smith’s health comes first, and head coach Jeremy Pruitt has said that multiple times. But with his playing career seriously in doubt, he’s one of the biggest question marks on this list.