After Tennessee landed one first-round selection on Thursday night, the Vols came out swinging on Friday night with four selections in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City.
Tennessee offensive lineman Darnell Wright began the festivities on Thursday after he was taken by the Chicago Bears with the 10th overall pick.
While there was a belief that both Hendon Hooker and Jalin Hyatt could go in the second round, Tennessee ended up having no selections in the first half of the draft on Friday night.
That all changed in the third round when Hooker was drafted by the Detroit Lions with the 68th overall pick. Hooker became Tennessee’s highest-drafted quarterback since Peyton Manning in 1998 with the pick to the Motor City.
Hooker’s pick started a run for Tennessee. Shortly after, with the 73rd overall pick in the third round, the New York Giants selected Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt to bolster their receiving weapons and give quarterback Daniel Jones a lightning-quick target.
Then, one pick after Hyatt, the Cleveland Browns selected Tennessee wide receiver Cedric Tillman with the 74th overall pick in the third round. Tillman will join VFLs Joshua Dobbs and John Kelly Jr. on the Browns team with quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Tennessee EDGE rusher Byron Young ended the Vols’ third-round run with a selection by the Los Angeles Rams with the No. 77 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Young is the only former Tennessee player on the Rams’ roster.
All in all, Tennessee had four players selected with 10 picks during the third round on Friday night.
Tennessee Football's #NFLDraft Third Round so far:
-QB Hendon Hooker to the Detroit Lions (No. 68)
-WR Jalin Hyatt to the New York Giants (No. 73)
-WR Cedric Tillman to the Cleveland Browns (No. 74)
-EDGE Byron Young to the Los Angeles Rams (No. 77)
A run of Vols in the third.
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) April 29, 2023
With Wright, Hooker, Hyatt, Tillman, and Young all being drafted on Friday night, the Vols will now wait to see if former players such as Princeton Fant, Jerome Carvin, and Jeremy Banks can land on a team in the NFL.
Rounds 4-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft will continue from Kansas City on Saturday afternoon.