Trey Smith Named To NFL All-Rookie Team

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    Sean Payton Retires

    Former Tennessee offensive lineman and current Kansas City Chiefs offensive guard Trey Smith is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America’s NFL all-rookie team.

    Smith was one of the biggest steals in the 2021 NFL Draft. The four-year Tennessee starter wasn’t on many teams draft boards due to his off-field medical issues. That allowed Smith to fall all the way to the sixth round before the defending AFC Champions took a flyer on him.

    The pick paid off. Smith has started all 19 games the Chiefs have played this season, doing it at an incredibly high level.

    According to Pro Football Focus, Smith ranked out as the best interior rookie offensive lineman since Quentin Nelson and through 14 weeks was the 15th highest rated rookie in the NFL.

    Smith’s strong play is no surprise to those who followed him in Knoxville. The former No. 1 recruit was a four-year starter for Tennessee earning All-SEC Freshman honors, two First Team All-SEC honors and Second Team All-American honors.

    The Jackson, Tennessee native did it with limited practice and strong determination. After his freshman season it was discovered that Smith had blood clots that threatened his football future.

    Smith returned on a limited full contact practice schedule for the 2018 season, but a speed bump sidelined him for the final month of the season. The star lineman returned in 2019 and played all 23 of the Vols’ games during the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

    Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs continue their playoff run this weekend when they host the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.