NFL Update: 38 VFLs, 8 ex-Vols, 7 Knox area players, coaches & players with UT connections in minicamps

KNOXVILLE, TN - November 18, 2023 - Running back Jaylen Wright #0 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

NFL Update: 38 VFLs, 8 ex-Vols, 7 Knox area players, coaches & players with UT connections in minicamps

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

Updated 5/13/24

Here’s an updated list of University of Tennessee players on expanded NFL rosters as 2024 rookie minicamps are underway this weekend.

You’ll also see a list of players that were once at UT as well as other Knoxville area players that played at other schools. Plus, I’ve included coaches throughout the league that either played or coached at the University of Tennessee or are from the Knoxville area.

I’ve included depth chart listings from either the team’s “unofficial” depth chart or Ourlads’ reported depth charts that are very accurate.

That’s all below now, and will be updated often, here on my blog “Vince’s View.”

*38 VFLs in the NFL
*11 VFL rookies total (3 draft picks & 8 undrafted free agent)
*21 of 32 teams have a VFL on their rosters
*16 VFLs in the AFC
*22 VFLs in the NFC
*8 VFLs are listed as starters on their depth charts
*Panthers/Bears/Lions/Titans are tied for the most Vols with 3
*8 ex-Vols that finished college at others schools currently with NFL teams
*8 Knoxville-area players that did not attend UT currently with NFL teams
*9 VFL coaches/staff/front office are in the NFL
*11 Ex-UT coaches/grad assistants are in the NFL
*2 others from the Knoxville Area with no UT background are in the NFL (2)
*LB Aaron Beasley was announced by UT and different outlets as signing with the Seattle Seahawks after the draft, however he was not announced as an undrafted free agent signing by the team and was not on the club’s official rookie minicamp roster that includes tryouts

Tennessee Volunteers In The NFL as of 5/5/24 (38)
x = rookie

AFC East (3)
RB – Jaylen Wright (25) Miami Dolphins (3rd team)-x
QB – Joe Milton III (19) New England Patriots (4th team)-x
TE -Jacob Warren (–) New England Patriots (5th team)-x
NONE – Buffalo Bills, New York Jets

AFC North (4)
WR – Cedric Tillman (89) Cleveland Browns (2nd team)
RB – John Kelly Jr. (41) Cleveland Browns (5th team)
RB – Cordarrelle Patterson (84) Pittsburgh Steelers (3rd team/starting KR)
WR – Marquez Callaway (17) Pittsburgh Steelers (4th team)
NONE – Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals

AFC South (4)
DE – Derek Barnett (95) Houston Texans (2nd team)
LS – Morgan Cox (46) Tennessee Titans (LS)
RB – Jabari Small (31) Tennessee Titans (5th team)-x
CB – Gabe Jeudy-Lally (32) Tennessee Titans (4th team)-x
NONE – Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars

AFC West (5)
OG – Trey Smith (65) Kansas City Chiefs (starting RG)
CB – Kamal Hadden (17) Kansas City Chiefs (2nd team)-x
DT – Matthew Butler (91) Las Vegas Raiders (3rd team)
WR – Ramel Keyton (82) Las Vegas Raiders (3rd team)-x
WR – Joshua Palmer (5) Los Angeles Chargers (starting WR)
NONE – Denver Broncos

NFC East (3)
TE – Princeton Fant (48) Dallas Cowboys (4th team)
WR – Jalin Hyatt (84) New York Giants (starting WR)
TE – McCallan Castles (43) Philadelphia Eagles (5th team)-x
NONE – Washington Commanders

NFC North (7)
OT – Darnell Wright (58) Chicago Bears (starting RT)
WR – Velus Jones Jr. (12) Chicago Bears (2nd team/starting KR & PR)
OG – Jerome Carvin (63) Chicago Bears (3rd team)
QB – Hendon Hooker (2) Detroit Lions (2nd team)
CB – Emmanuel Moseley (4) Detroit Lions (2nd team)
WLB – Jalen Reeves-Maybin (42) Detroit Lions (2nd team)
SS – Theo Jackson (25) Minnesota Vikings (2nd team)
NONE – Green Bay Packers

NFC South (6)
FS – Micah Abernathy (29) Atlanta Falcons (2nd team)
DT – Shy Tuttle (99) Carolina Panthers (starting NT)
OG – Cade Mays (64) Carolina Panthers (2nd team LG)
OT – Jeremiah Crawford (–) Carolina Panthers (4th team)-x
RB – Alvin Kamara (41) New Orleans Saints (starting RB)
CB – Alontae Taylor (1) New Orleans Saints (starting NB)
NONE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West (6)
OLB – Byron Young (0) Los Angeles Rams (starting OLB)
SS – Jaylen McCullough (–) Los Angeles Rams (4th team)-x
WR – Jauan Jennings (15) San Francisco 49ers (2nd team)
QB – Joshua Dobbs (5) San Francisco 49ers (2nd team)
OLB – Darrell Taylor (52) Seattle Seahawks (2nd team)
CB – Dee Williams (33) Seattle Seahawks (5th team/3rd team KR)-x
NONE – Arizona Cardinals

Ex-Vols That Transferred To Other Schools On NFL Rosters (8)
WR – Brandon Johnson (89) Denver Broncos (UCF) (3rd team)
SLB – Henry To’o to’o (39) Houston Texans (Alabama) (starting SLB)
P – Tommy Townsend (6) Houston Texans (Florida) (P/H)
OT – Wanya Morris (64) Kansas City Chiefs (Oklahoma) (starting LT)
RB – Zach Evans (21) Los Angeles Rams (Louisville) (4th team)
RB – Ty Chandler (32) Minnesota Vikings (North Carolina) (2nd team/starting KR)
QB – Nathan Peterman (10) New Orleans Saints (Pitt) (4th team)
RB – Eric Gray (20) New York Giants (Oklahoma) (2nd team)

Knoxville Area Players That Didn’t Play at UT on NFL Rosters (8)
WR – Tee Higgins (5) Cincinnati Bengals (Oak Ridge HS/Clemson) (starting)
MLB – Devin Harper (56) Cincinnati Bengals (Karns HS/Oklahoma St.) (3rd team)
C – Nate Gilliam (66) Cincinnati Bengals (Farragut HS/Wake Forest) (4th team)
TE – Nate Adkins (45) Denver Broncos (Bearden HS/ETSU/South Carolina) (4th team)
QB – Trevor Lawrence (16) Jacksonville Jaguars (Born in Knoxville/Clemson) (starting QB)
SS – Harrison Smith (22) Minnesota Vikings (Catholic HS/Notre Dame) (starting SS)
OG – Cole Strange (69) New England Patriots (Farragut HS/Chattanooga) (starting LG)
QB – Parker McKinney (–) Minnesota Vikings (Coalfield HS/Eastern Kentucky) (5th team) tryout

VFL Coaches/Staff/Front Office in the NFL (9)
Tee Martin – Baltimore (QB) Played QB 1996-1999
Chuck Smith – Baltimore (Def Pass Rush Coach) Played DE 1990-1991
Marion Hobby – Cincinnati (DL Coach) Played DE 1990-1992 and Asst S&C Coach 1998
Jim Bob Cooter – Indianapolis (OC) Played QB 2002-2005 & G.A. 2007-2008
Reggie McKenzie – Miami (Sr. Personnel Executive) Played LB 1981-1984 & G.A. 1993
Jerod Mayo – New England (HC) Played LB 2005-2007
Kacy Rodgers – Tampa Bay (Run Game Coord/DL Coach) Played LB/DE 1988-1991
Bo Hardegree – Tennessee (QB Coach) Played QB 2004-2007
Luke Stocker – Tennessee (Asst TE Coach) Played TE 2007-2010

Ex-UT Coaches/Grad Assistants in the NFL (11)
Kevin Koger – Atlanta (TE Coach) Off. Quality Control 2015
Eric Ciano – Buffalo (Head S&C Coach) G.A. 1997-1999 & Assoc Head S&C Coach 2002-2004
Dom Capers – Carolina (Sr. Def Asst) Assistant (DB) 1980-1981
Derrick Ansley – Green Bay (Def Pass Game Coord.) Assistant (DB) 2012
Jerry Mack – Jacksonville (RB Coach) Assistant (RB) 2021-2023
Drew Hughes – Jacksonville (Player Personnel Coord) Recruiting Coord 2018-2019
Derius Swinton II – Las Vegas (Asst ST Coach) G.A. 2007-2008
Jason Michael – Philadelphia (TE Coach) G.A. 2003-2004 & Assistant (TE) 2008
Zach Azzanni – Pittsburgh (WR Coach) Assistant (Pass Game Coord/WR) 2013-2016
Brandon Staley – San Francisco (Asst HC) G.A. 2012
Tracy Rocker – Tennessee (DL Coach) Assistant (DL) 2017-2019

From Knoxville Area/No UT Background in the NFL (2)
Mike Caldwell – Las Vegas (Def Run Game Coord/LB Coach) from Oak Ridge, TN
Jimmy Haslam – Cleveland (Owner) from Knoxville, TN

Free Agent VFLs
FB Jakob Johnson
DL Kyle Phillips
DL Kendal Vickers
DB Cameron Sutton
LB AJ Johnson
DB Justin Coleman
DL Jonathan Kongbo
P/K Michael Palardy

Free Agent Ex-Vols & Knoxville Area Players
WR Amari Rodgers
LB Deandre Johnson

Find more of my broadcasting work at

KNOXVILLE, TN – November 18, 2023 – Running back Jaylen Wright #0 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics


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