Tennessee football has had five draft picks so far in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.
Offensive lineman Darnell Wright was the first to come off the board at No. 10 overall to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
A day later, not one of Hendon Hooker, Jalin Hyatt, Cedric Tillman and Byron Young were selected in the second round. But then, all four were selected in a nine-pick stretch from 68th to 77th overall. Hooker was selected first to the Detroit Lions, Hyatt was next to the New York Giants at 73rd overall, Cedric Tillman went a pick later to the Browns, and Young rounded out the Volunteer run going to the Los Angeles Rams.
In last year’s NFL Draft, Tennessee had five players selected in all seven rounds which was the most since 2017. This year, Tennessee has already matched that number before day three begins.
When looking at Tennessee football’s draft history and how they fared in the first two days of the 2023 NFL Draft, a handful of eye-popping stats were found. Take a look below.
For the First Time in Six Years
For the first time in six years, a Tennessee quarterback was selected in the NFL Draft.
Hendon Hooker was taken in the third round, becoming the first Volunteer quarterback to hear his name called since Joshua Dobbs was drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Additionally, Hooker is the highest-drafted Tennessee quarterback since Peyton Manning went first overall in the 1998 NFL Draft.
For the First Time in Thirteen Years
For the first time in thirteen years, a Tennessee Volunteer was selected in the Top 10.
Darnell Wright was taken 10th overall by the Chicago Bears, becoming the highest Vol selected since Eric Berry went fifth overall in 2010.
Taking it a step further, Wright is the highest offensive player selected out of Tennessee since Jamal Lewis in 2000.
For the First Time in Sixteen Years
For the first time in sixteen years, Tennessee has had FIVE selections in the first three rounds. In 2007, Tennessee had five (DT Justin Harrell (1st), WR Robert Meachem (1st), OG Arron Sears (2nd), DT Turk McBride (2nd), and CB Jonathan Wade (3rd)).
The last time Tennessee had more than five selections in rounds 1-3 was 2000, when the Vols had an incredible eight selections.
For the First Time in Twenty Years
For the first time in 20 years, Tennessee had FOUR day two selections (rounds two and three). Hooker, Hyatt, Tillman and Young marked Tennessee’s day two selections, all coming in the third round.
The last time the Vols had four day two selections was in 2003, when Tennessee had one second-round selection and three third-round selections (OLD Eddie Moore (2nd), WR Kelley Washington (3rd), TE Jason Witten (3rd), CB Julian Battle (3rd)).
The last time Tennessee had more than four selections in the second and third rounds combined was 2000, when six players were selected. Five were second-round selections. In no other year in the Super Bowl era (1966-present)–outside 0f 2000, 2003 and 2023–has Tennessee had four or more selections in rounds two and three.
More From RTI: Four Tennessee Vols Selected During NFL Draft Day Two Action
For the First Time EVER
For the first time in history, Tennessee had four third-round selections. As previously mentioned, they had three third-round selections in 2003, but 2023 is the first year four Volunteers have heard their name called in the third round.
For the Fourth Straight Year
For the fourth consecutive season, Tennessee has had a wide receiver drafted in the NFL Draft, which is the longest streak in the SEC and ties the longest in the nation.
4⃣ straight years, 5⃣ WRs drafted.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) April 29, 2023
Both Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman were selected in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft, joining Velus Jones Jr. in the 2022 NFL Draft (3rd round), Joshua Palmer in the 2021 NFL Draft (3rd round), and Jauan Jennings in the 2020 NFL Draft (7th round).
Potentially, four more Vols can get drafted in rounds 4-7, as safety Trevon Flowers, offensive guard/center Jerome Carvin, linebacker Jeremy Banks and tight end Princeton Fant are still on the board. While it is unlikely all four get drafted, it is certainly possible two of the four hear their names called.
If two of the four get drafted, Tennessee will end the draft having had seven players selected, which would be the most players drafted since 2003.