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Recapping All of Tennessee Football’s NFL Movement

Tennessee NFL
Tennessee TE Jacob Warren (left) and QB Joe Milton III (right), both now New England Patriots players. Photo via Tennessee Athletics

After a long stretch between the end of the regular season and the weekend of the NFL Draft in Detroit, a handful of former Tennessee players have found new homes in the NFL moving forward. Some joined their new team through the draft while others as undrafted free agents, but all will be working hard as a brand-new grind begins.

As expected, Tennessee had three players selected during the seven-round NFL Draft, led by former running back Jaylen Wright. In addition, the Vols had nine players sign an undrafted free agent contract following the conclusion of the draft on Saturday. Two of those nine players will be staying in the Volunteer State, signing with the Tennessee Titans.

Josh Heupel has now produced 13 NFL draft picks in the three years that his players have been eligible for the draft.

As previously mentioned, former running back Jaylen Wright was the first to go off the board in the draft. As one of the fastest backs in the combine, it was only fitting that the speedy Miami Dolphins were the landing spot for the former Vol, taken with the 20th pick in the fourth round (No. 120 overall). Miami does have a loaded backfield but Wright brings a skill set that can pierce through the brush.

“He fits well into McDaniel’s offense, able to hit the gap and go,” Kevin Patra of wrote about Wright. “If one needs proof, look no further than the sheer volume he posted in his three seasons at Tennessee, where he led the Volunteers in rushing yards in 2022 and 2023. His farewell campaign saw him finish with 1,013 yards and four touchdowns on just 137 carries, becoming Tennessee’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Jalen Hurd in 2015.”

One of the most unique and interesting players in the class, former quarterback Joe Milton III is officially NFL bound. Milton is heading north after being selected by the New England Patriots with the 17th pick in the sixth round (No. 193 overall). Milton’s landing spot is quite fascinating, though. Unlike Hendon Hooker, who was drafted to back up a solidified starter in Detroit, Milton joins a quarterback room that includes Drake Maye, the No. 3 pick in the draft.

“It’s a wonderful moment,” Milton said after the draft, according to “I am pretty much speechless at this point, I’m kind of fumbling over myself, so I am kind of speechless at this point. But you know, I am blessed by the best. I’m happy about this moment.”

The final draft selection from the 2023 Tennessee roster happened just a handful of picks after Milton as defensive back Kamal Hadden was taken with the 35th pick in the sixth round (No. 211 overall) by the Kansas City Chiefs. Hadden was a monster in coverage for Tennessee last season, breaking out into one of the top cornerbacks in the conference. The former Vol suffered a season-ending injury against Alabama but will now have a chance to bounce back in Kansas City.

The Tennessee Titans signed two former Vols to undrafted free agent contracts with running back Jabari Small and cornerback Gabe Jeudy-Lally. Safety Jaylen McCollough will reunite with Byron Young with the Los Angeles Rams, tight end Jacob Warren joins Joe Milton in New England, and returner Dee Williams and linebacker Aaron Beasley will both be with the Seattle Seahawks to start their NFL runs.

More from RTI: Tennessee Defender Mocked As Top Pick In 2025 NFL Draft

Here’s a look at all 12 of the Tennessee players to join the NFL over the weekend:

Running Back Jaylen Wright

  • Miami Dolphins
  • No. 120 overall


Quarterback Joe Milton III

  • New England Patriots
  • No. 193 overall


Cornerback Kamal Hadden

  • Kansas City Chiefs
  • No. 211 overall


Running Back Jabari Small

  • Undrafted Free Agent
  • Tennessee Titans


Cornerback Gabe Jeudy-Lally

  • Undrafted Free Agent
  • Tennessee Titans


Linebacker Aaron Beasley

  • Undrafted Free Agent
  • Seattle Seahawks


DB/WR/Return Man Dee Williams

  • Undrafted Free Agent
  • Seattle Seahawks


Tight End Jacob Warren

  • Undrafted Free Agent
  • New England Patriots


Safety Jaylen McCollough

  • Undrafted Free Agent
  • Los Angeles Rams


Offensive Tackle Jeremiah Crawford

  • Undrafted Free Agent
  • Carolina Panthers


Wide Receiver Ramel Keyton

  • Undrafted Free Agent
  • Las Vegas Raiders


Tight End McCallan Castles

  • Undrafted Free Agent
  • Philadelphia Eagles

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