9. Jarrett Guarantano, QB
Some Vol fans may disagree, but Jarrett Guarantano flashed enough potential last season to catch the eye of some in the NFL. If he can get more protection and show growth in the areas he needs to this upcoming season, the fourth-year junior may very well decide it’s time to declare for the draft.
The redshirt junior signal caller started all 12 of UT’s games last season, though he got knocked out of a few before the end of the contest. Aside from his season-ending performance against Vanderbilt — where he was clearly still banged up from the previous week against Missouri — Guarantano was efficient and effective in running Tennessee’s offense despite having one of the worst offensive lines in the country blocking for him.
Guarantano completed 62.2 percent of his 246 pass attempts for 1,907 yards, 12 touchdowns, and only three interceptions as a redshirt sophomore. He averaged 7.75 yards per attempt and 12.46 yards per completion.
If Guarantano can continue to take care of the football, improve on reading defenses, and continue to work on his progressions, then he may go ahead and try his luck in the NFL rather than spend a fifth year at Tennessee.
Tennessee’s starting QB isn’t one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2020 crop of signal callers, but he can prove to be good enough to be a mid-round selection if he takes big enough steps forward. He has the wide receiver group and talent at running back to help him do just that. The big question will be how much UT’s offensive line can and will improve.