Darrell Taylor became the first Tennessee Vol drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft.
After losing Jadeveon Clowney, the Seattle Seahawks needed an edge rusher. With the 48th pick of the draft, the Seahawks took Taylor.
Like many others, Taylor’s dreams of making it to the NFL came true on Friday night.
The Seahawks even traded up, giving the Jets their 59th and 101st pick.
It’s also though to give up depth that comes with the second, third, and fourth rounds. However, Taylor has enough potential to make an early impact.
Taylor came on strong last season and was the MVP for the Vols. Not only was he one of the best defensive players for the Vols, but he was also one of the best in the SEC.
Taylor becomes the first Vol drafted since the 2018 NFL Draft when Kahlil McKenzie was drafted in the 6th round.
He’s also the first Vol to be drafted in the top two rounds of the draft since Derek Barnett was drafted in the 1st round in 2017.
Darrell Taylor was the highest-graded edge defender in 2019 SEC play. pic.twitter.com/gyjGtQtO27
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 25, 2020
Taylor saw his name continue to rise in the mock drafts. Despite not participating in the NFL Combine due to a stress fracture in his lower leg, his college tape was enough to impress Pete Carroll and the Seahawk scouts.
There was even one mock draft that had Taylor as a first-rounder.
Taylor finished last season with a career-high 46 tackles, including 10 TFLs. After finishing with eight sacks in his redshirt junior season, he posted nine sacks as a Senior.
Nine sacks was tied for second-best in the SEC.
Taylor became the 20th player from the SEC to be drafted in this year’s draft, an insane number considering he was the 48th player selected overall.
A few more Vols hope to hear their names called in the next 24 hours, as Daniel Bituli, Marquez Callaway, Jauan Jennings, Nigel Warrior, and Dominick Wood-Anderson all have a chance.