Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

Tennessee Defender Mocked As Top Pick In 2025 NFL Draft

Photo via Tennessee Athletics

“With the first pick in the 2025 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers select James Pearce Jr. Outside linebacker. Tennessee.”

With the 2024 NFL Draft in the rearview, draft experts are turning their attention to next year’s draft and Tennessee’s James Pearce Jr. is near the top of draft boards. In fact, Pearce is at the very top spot in 247sports way-too-early 2025 NFL Draft with the site projecting Carolina to take the standout defensive lineman with the first pick.

“Nobody in 2025 profiles as good enough to go first overall. This would either be a trade-back or a spot for college football’s best edge-rusher, James Pearce Jr. of Tennessee,” 247sports wrote. “Pearce is coming off a breakout sophomore season that saw him total 18 tackles, 9.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. After playing in a very limited role as a freshman, Pearce became one of the nation’s best pass rushers as a sophomore and earned First Team All-SEC honors for his standout season.

At 6-foot-5, 242-pounds and with long arms, Pearce has the perfect pass rusher build and can take over a game with the pressure he puts on an opponent’s passing attack.

More From RTI: Where Undrafted Tennessee Players Landed

Pearce led the SEC in sacks with 10 for his second season at Tennessee, adding 53 pressures. There are makings of a dominant pass-rusher here.

But Pearce is more than just a pass rusher, as he showed throughout his sophomore season. He dropped back into coverage. He ran sideline to sideline to defend a short pass on a third down against Texas A&M which led to the Aggies missing a long field goal that would have tied the game in the fourth quarter.

Pearce also recorded a pick six in Tennessee football’s Citrus Bowl win over Iowa as the Vols put the Hawkeyes to bed. Earlier in the second half, Pearce forced a fumble and gave Tennessee the ball at Iowa’s three-yard line.

The rising junior being the first overall pick in the 2025 NFL Draft would be cool no matter where he lands but it would be particularly cool if Carolina selected Pearce in that spot because the former five-star recruit is a Charlotte, North Carolina native.

Tennessee football hasn’t had the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since the Indianapolis Colts selected Peyton Manning with the top selection in the 1998 NFL Draft.

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet Us