Vols in the NFL: the former Tennessee players that made NFL rosters

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    (Photo courtesy of Jeremy Brevard — USA TODAY SPORTS)

    The NFL season begins this upcoming Thursday when the defending Super Bowl Champs, the Kansas City Chiefs, take on the Houston Texans. Opening weekend will continue through the weekend and finish with a doubleheader on Monday Night Football.

    NFL rosters were trimmed down to 53 over the weekend. Several former Vols made NFL roster, but there were also some who received some unfortunate news.

    Here’s a look at how former Tennessee players fared over the weekend:

    We’ll continue to update this post as more information comes out on former Vols.

    Former Vols who made rosters

    • It started off as a bad weekend for former Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs, who was waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday. But on Sunday, Dobbs was claimed by the team who drafted him in 2017 — the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    • Marquez Callaway made the New Orleans Saints 53-man roster on Saturday. Callaway had an impressive camp, drawing praise from Saints head coach Sean Payton at one point. The former Tennessee wide receiver joins Shy Tuttle and Alvin Kamara in New Orleans. Former Vols tight end Ethan Wolf was previously cut by the team.
    • Former Tennessee defensive lineman Kendal Vickers spent the 2019 season in the Canadian Football League with the Edmonton Eskimos. He’ll spend the 2020 season in the NFL, however, as Vickers made the 53-man roster of the Las Vegas Raiders.
    • Jakob Johnson, who played linebacker, tight end and fullback for the Vols, made the New England Patriots’ roster. Johnson is the only fullback on the Patriots’ roster.

    Former Vols who were cut

    • Despite receiving positive reviews throughout training camp, Jauan Jennings was released by the San Francisco 49ers. Jennings, who was drafted in the seventh round by the 49ers, will likely end up on the team’s practice squad. San Francisco previously cut Jonathan Kongbo as well.
    • Like Jennings, Nigel Warrior also received good reviews out of training camp with the Baltimore Ravens. But Baltimore still made the decision to release Warrior after an impressive camp.
    • The Los Angeles Rams were not kind to former Vols over the weekend. Los Angeles cut both former Vol running back John Kelly and former Vol linebacker Daniel Bituli. Kelly was drafted by the Rams in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but spent most of his time on the practice squad. The Rams cut Bituli on Aug. 1, but resigned him on Aug. 25.
    • Jason Croom, former Tennessee tight end, was waived by the Buffalo Bills after dealing with injuries in 2019.
    • The Steelers claimed Dobbs on Sunday, but cut former Vol Daniel McCullers on Saturday. McCullers spent six seasons with the Steelers after the organization drafted him in the 2014 NFL Draft.
    • Kahlil McKenzie spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs as an offensive lineman, but signed with the Cincinatti Bengals as a defensive lineman. The Bengals cut McKenzie over the weekend.
    • Josh Malone, who was drafted by the Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft, was cut by the New York Jets.
    • The Chicago Bears terminated the contract of former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray.
    Ben McKee
    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.