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Tennessee Receiver Cedric Tillman Projected as Top 30 NFL Draft Prospect

Tennessee Cedric Tillman
Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman. Photo by Tennessee Athletics.

Despite an injury here in the middle of his redshirt-senior season, Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman is still being looked at as one of the premier prospects in all of college football.

On Wednesday morning, ESPN draft expert Todd McShay ranked his top 32 NFL Draft prospects, with Tillman landing on the list.

McShay has Tillman listed as the No. 21 overall prospect in the 2022-2023 NFL Draft class.

“Tillman is a physical receiver with impressive route-running savvy, a big catch radius and very strong hands,” McShay wrote about Tennessee’s 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver. “He’s not a burner, but he does an excellent job tracking the deep ball and using his length to win on 50-50 opportunities. He has a natural feel for contorting his body, timing his jumps and shielding defenders. But Tillman lacks ideal elusiveness. He has 17 catches for 246 yards and a TD, but he has missed a few games with a left ankle injury.”

Tillman has not seen action since Tennessee’s third game of the year against Akron when he suffered an ankle injury. While Tillman has received surgery to stabilize the injury moving forward, it’s tough to say exactly when the star receiver will be back on the field for the Vols.

Clearly, though, as seen by McShay’s rankings, Tillman certainly has promise and potential at the next level when this season wraps up for Tennessee. It will be interesting to see how Tennessee handles his workload in getting back on the field sometime in the next few weeks.

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Cedric Tillman is listed as the fourth wide receiver in McShay’s rankings only trailing USC’s Jordan Addison (No. 9), LSU’s Kayshon Boutte (No. 16), and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba (No. 18).

Additionally, Tillman lands as the ninth-highest NFL Draft prospect representing the SEC from the rankings.

While McShay is high on Tennessee’s preseason First Team All-SEC receiver, he isn’t a consistent name on NFL mock drafts quite yet.

According to mock drafts from CBS Sports and Pro Football Focus, released on Monday and Tuesday respectively, Tillman does not yet have a spot in the first round. But, at the same time, it may not take long.

Prior to his injury against Akron, Cedric Tillman was unquestionably the go-to target for Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker. In Tennessee’s Top 25 overtime win against Pittsburgh in week two, Tillman was one of the most significant impact players for the Vols with nine receptions and 162 yards, as well as the go-ahead touchdown to win the game.

As soon as Tillman can return to the field for Tennessee, it’s easy to think that his stock will continue to quickly rise throughout the remainder of the season.

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