Derek Dooley talks about Luke Stocker
The NFL draft part went on without Tennessee longer than normal.
Luke Stocker finally broke the ice on Saturday.
After a long wait, the former Vols tight end finally heard his name called at Radio City Music Hall in New York when Tampa Bay tabbed him with pick No. 104 in the fourth round.
One round later, wide receiver Denarius Moore was selected by the Oakland Raiders.
Stocker was projected to go as early as the second round, but his slide and the absence of any of his teammates through two days of picks represented the first time since 2004 the Vols didn't have a player selected during the opening three rounds.
But the Buccaneers ended the drought for UT and landed a tight end ranked in the top three at his position by analysts on both networks broadcasting the draft this weekend.
"Luke is an in-line, all-around tight end who can really do everything well," UT coach Derek Dooley said Friday. "Add to that he’s got really good stature, size and speed. He’s got phenomenal competitive and off-the-field character, and so I think that I’m expecting him to get picked (Friday). It would surprise me if he doesn’t.
"We’re going to miss Luke, and I think one of the advantages for him, too, is everyone of the pro offenses got to see Luke doing everything that they’re going to ask him to do. I think that’s one of the real values of our offense – I think it gives our players a great evaluation for the next level."
Oakland made a move on Moore, a seemingly perfect match between a speedy target and an organization that has always prized athleticism in the draft, with the 148th pick.
Moore dealt with inconsistency throughout his career with UT, but he posted a handful of huge games as a senior that flashed his great potential as a down-field threat - which was apparently enough to impress the Raiders.
"He’s fast," Dooley said. "His speed, his 40 time and obviously he’s got explosive-play ability, which is important up at that level. It’s just going to be what offense and where he fits in.
"He only had really a five-game stretch with great production, and so there will be questions about why. But I think both of those guys are very capable and are going to have good careers."
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