Starter: Austin Pope (R-Sr.)
Chaney loves to line up in 12-personnel (two tight end sets), and that was very evident in his usage of Austin Pope last season. Wood-Anderson was the clear starter, but Pope was just as valuable a tight end due to his ability to block. Pope was instrumental in the run game despite only catching four passes last season.
According to Pro Football Focus, Pope saw 276 run-blocking snaps, which was more snaps than he’d seen at all during his first two seasons combined (201) with the Vols.
TE No. 2: Princeton Fant (R-Jr)
Pope will need to prove he is more than just a blocking tight end, but he won’t be the only tight end targeted in the passing game. That responsibility falls on the shoulder of the entire room. Fourth-year junior Princeton Fant could prove to be a pass-catching option due to his athleticism, but Fant has more carries (three) than he does catches (two) in his career.
TE No. 3: Jordan Allen (R-Jr.)
Tennessee is so desperate for a pass-catching option and depth at the tight end position that it decided to move Jordan Allen from the defensive side of the ball to the offensive side. Allen has just two formal practices at tight end under his belt.
Other Options: Jacob Warren (R-So.), Sean Brown (R-Fr.), Jackson Lowe (R-Fr.), Hunter Salmon (R-Fr.)
Jacob Warren, Sean Brown, and Jackson Lowe are the true tight end options in the room as all three have spent all of their time on Rocky Top at the position. Warren has finally added the adequate weight to go along with an impressive ability to catch the football that he displayed in high school. Brown and Lowe didn’t generate much buzz last season while redshirting.