Via UT Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee hosted its annual Pro Day on Monday morning, as several draft-eligible Vols showcased their talents in front of NFL scouts, coaches and executives.
In total, 22 Vols participated in workouts throughout the day: Elliott Berry, Evan Berry, Trevor Daniel, Logan Fetzner, Holden Foster, Rashaan Gaulden, Jeff George, Jakob Johnson, Colton Jumper, John Kelly, Brett Kendrick, Justin Martin, Kahlil McKenzie, Aaron Medley, Emmanuel Moseley, Thomas Orradre, Jashon Robertson, Josh Smith, Coleman Thomas, Kendal Vickers, Shaq Wiggins and Ethan Wolf.
31 NFL teams were represented at Monday’s Pro Day, including Oakland Raiders general manager and VFL Reggie McKenzie and Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson. Former Vol and current Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs was also in attendance.
Daniel, Gaulden, Kelly and McKenzie all participated in the NFL Combine in early March, but focused on improving numbers one last time before April’s NFL Draft.
The Vols started the day by getting their heights and weights recorded before performing on the bench press.
Following the bench press, the players took part in the vertical jump, broad jump, 40-yard dash and 60-yard shuttle.
The day ended with position specific drills for the scouts in attendance.
“I wanted to show my speed,” Jumper said. “That’s really what a linebacker needs to have, especially these days. And I felt like I showed that. I came in and got done what needed to be done. I’ve been training for about two months now on this stuff, so if you don’t have it by now, you’re not going to have it down.”
Jumper, a former walk-on, is looking to get on NFL teams radars, while players like Gaulden and Kelly are already being mentioned as possible selections in next month’s draft.
Gaulden is receiving the most buzz among the Vols’ potential professional players following three standout seasons with the Orange and White.
Gaulden credited older teammates for the individual success he had in 2017, when he finished with 65 tackles, five pass breakups, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
“Guys like Derek Barnett and Cam Sutton showed me that in the offseason you really have to take it to another level as far as film study,” Gaulden said. “You have to get on the field and get extra time in, and you also have to step up as a leader and be able to rally your defensive backs and get them on the same page.”
Several Vols praised new head coach Jeremy Pruitt and said they were impressed with his coaching staff.
“I’ve talked to him a couple times,” Vickers said. “He really seems like he’s a great football mind, and everyone I’ve talked to around him says that he’s one of the best football minds they’ve ever been around. I wish nothing but success for him here.
“The coaches want to win just as bad as the players do. They’re hard on them, they don’t give them any days off, and they’re going to respond to it. Going into spring practice, they’re going to play their butts off and I know the coaches will push them as well.”
The 2018 NFL Draft will take place April 26-28 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.