Darrell Taylor became the first Tennessee player to be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday evening, when the Seattle Seahawks selected him as the 48th overall pick in the 2nd round.
Taylor is known for his relentless pash rush, putting together 8.5 sacks during his senior season. He also had 46 tackles on the year, 10 of which were for losses, and forced a fumble, adding to his growing profile as an NFL prospect.
Standing at 6’4’’ and weighing in 267 pounds, NFL.com projects Taylor to be a starter by his 2nd season in the league — giving him a 6.30 prospect grade. Coming out of high school, Taylor was a 4-star recruit rated as the 11th best player out of the State of Virginia. He committed to Tennessee under head coach Butch Jones, and decided to stay on the Vols’ roster after his termination.
Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt praised his former player during a recent interview with 99.1 “The Sports Animal” (a radio station out of Knoxville). “I actually believe Darrell Taylor is of first round talent,” said the second year head coach. “He developed a little bit of a stress fracture, a stress situation, in his lower leg during fall camp last year. It really limited him to kind of taking his game to the next level. I think it shows you a little bit about his toughness. I think wherever he gets drafted, someone is going to get a steal there.”
The Volunteers still have five players who are thought to have a chance at being selected in the draft: wide receivers Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway, linebacker Daniel Bituli, safety Nigel Warrior, and tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson.
The 2nd and 3rd rounds of the NFL Draft were completed on Friday, while the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th rounds will begin Saturday at 12:00ET.