After draft, some former Vols know their destination, others still searching for homes

Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee holds up the team jersey after being selected 29th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2013 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Photo by Jason DeCrow

Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee holds up the team jersey after being selected 29th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2013 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

Which UT player drafted will make the most impact his rookie season?

See the results »

View previous polls »

For most of the Tennessee football players embarking on their professional future, the NFL draft couldn’t have gone much better.

Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson beat back a legion of doubters to be selected in the first round. Fellow receiver Justin Hunter followed only a few picks later in the second round. A shoulder injury was no concern at all for offensive lineman Dallas Thomas, who went in the third round. And tight end Mychal Rivera found a good home with the Oakland Raiders in the sixth round.

But all the good news was overshadowed by one unforeseen stunner: Tyler Bray, considered at one time to be an elite NFL prospect, wasn’t drafted at all.

Even draft gurus who expressed skepticism about Bray’s preparation and attitude believed he would go as a mid-round pick. So when quarterbacks started rapidly falling off the board in the final round and Bray was unselected, many were surprised.

ESPN reported Bray agreed to an undrafted free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs, although neither the team nor Bray confirmed the news as of Sunday.

While it’s likely that many teams had concerns about Bray’s maturity, and it’s possible that Bray had some poor pre-draft interviews, another option exists that is far more worrisome for Bray’s future: Perhaps many teams just didn’t think he was that good.

The lack of a draft slot has changed Bray’s path to pro football dramatically. No longer is his concern about immediate playing time. He has to worry about just making a team.

Fullback Ben Bartholomew (New England Patriots), receiver Zach Rogers (New York Jets) and defensive back Prentiss Waggner (Arizona Cardinals) confirmed their signings with NFL teams. Former Vol receiver Da’Rick Rogers said he joined the Buffalo Bills.

As of Sunday, there was no word on possible camp invites or tryouts for defensive linemen Willie Bohannon and Darrington Sentimore, linebacker Herman Lathers and defensive backs Marsalis Teague and Rod Wilks.

The weekend was brighter for Patterson and Hunter, who have been introduced to local media in their new homes.

Patterson, who was selected by the Minnesota Vikings, will face “crazy hype,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote in a headline. He plans to wear No. 84, Randy Moss’ old number.

“Randy Moss was my role model growing up,” Patterson said at his press conference Friday. “Now I’ve got a chance to practice on the field he practiced on and play in the games he played in.”

Hunter, who moves just a few hours west to play for the Tennessee Titans, was the second pick of the second round. Like the Vikings did for Patterson, the Titans traded up to select him.

“That means a lot to me and that makes you want to work harder just for them,” Hunter told Nashville media.

Thomas, who played both tackle and guard in college, said he doesn’t know where the Dolphins will ultimately put him.

“I can do it all. I can play left or right, but it’s up to coach, wherever he wants me to (play),” Thomas said on a conference call with Miami media. “I’m just happy I got picked and get a chance to play ball. It’s my dream.”

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/Tennesseebeat.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2013, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 35

johnlg00 writes:

Of all the undrafted Vols who hope to make free-agent deals, I am pulling hardest for Herman Lathers. If not for his injuries and the coaching turmoil during his career, he would have gone down as one of the most beloved Vols ever. I have a feeling he will be a great success in life if he never plays another down of football, but I hope he gets that opportunity if he wants it.

Coach_K writes:

Herman coulda been a hellvua player if he could stay healthy. I would love to see make it , but think he would make a great coach somewhere.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Dallas Thomas may be another Harry Galbreath anchoring Miami's O-line for many years. I think Teague should give up his dream of ever playing in the NFL..JMO.

pcorange writes:

I don't know about Teague. He never really got to play his position at UT. Maybe things will work out for him. I'm still surprised that Bray didn't get drafted.

eVOLved writes:

I think Bray has a good shot of realizing his potential. Once he's on a team, it'd be hard to deny his talent after they see him effortlessly zip the ball around.

6972 writes:

in response to eVOLved:

I think Bray has a good shot of realizing his potential. Once he's on a team, it'd be hard to deny his talent after they see him effortlessly zip the ball around.

I hope you are right and he gets a chance. Worrisome however is the fact, these teams have interviewed, watched in person, and have access to miles of film. That is worrisome!

nocleats writes:

Unless his academic situation was in bad shape, I can't imagine what Sentimore was thinking or who he was getting advice from.

VFL_Troll_Patrol writes:

I bet he wishes he would have stayed one more year and finished. Oh well, he has talent but it will be some time before he gets his time to shine. I guess he thought he needed to jump ship early because he was worried about where UT was headed. He also knew that he would be playing without his best receivers too. Now that Butch Jones is there, things are looking up. Not to say he isn't a Vol but I think If he had a little more commitment to UT he would have stayed but he's just a kid and the thought of big $$$ clouded his judgement a bit. He will do just fine in the NFL, just give him time. GBO

"A new leader" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4xteY...
*Im always watching*

hikerdude writes:

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bray will never start a game in the NFL. Big arm, little brain, bad attitude.

Geofffourmyle writes:

It occurs to me that -without- really top notch receivers, Bray's numbers wolud crash had he stayed at UT.

He's just an ugly blip on the history of the program now.

Walt

UT '81

CroKev writes:

Wasn't one of the reasons Bray chose to forego his senior season for the NFL was that there was not much QB talent this year in the draft and the opposite is true for next year?

mongobfairchild writes:

in response to eVOLved:

I think Bray has a good shot of realizing his potential. Once he's on a team, it'd be hard to deny his talent after they see him effortlessly zip the ball around.

I think you're dreaming. No brains, no maturity, and is a quitter when things get tough.

jimr07 writes:

in response to Geofffourmyle:

It occurs to me that -without- really top notch receivers, Bray's numbers wolud crash had he stayed at UT.

He's just an ugly blip on the history of the program now.

Walt

UT '81

The fact is... he did have those receivers..do not understand the hate on this guy..

THEKIDWISCONSIN writes:

Bray was recruited by Kiffin & mentored by Dooley...is it any wonder he was ill-prepared?

Just an incredible waste of physical talent. Have to have the mental side as well...especially to make it at the next level. And he clearly didn't throughout the interview process.

Then you have Zach Rogers. Doesn't have the physical tools but is prepared & works hard. That kid will make it as a 4/5 slot WR & special teamer.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Geofffourmyle:

It occurs to me that -without- really top notch receivers, Bray's numbers wolud crash had he stayed at UT.

He's just an ugly blip on the history of the program now.

Walt

UT '81

Much like yourself..

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to nocleats:

Unless his academic situation was in bad shape, I can't imagine what Sentimore was thinking or who he was getting advice from.

I think you or someone else mentioned him on a post the other day. I, too, am wondering what he was thinking. Apparently he wasn't thinking at all.

BigOrangeRock writes:

Tyler got Doolefted.

volsxsnos writes:

in response to jimr07:

The fact is... he did have those receivers..do not understand the hate on this guy..

Ya know, I just don't get it either. This kid is NOT a Peyton Manning people, so get over it! But, he did stick it out through one of the most difficult times in the history of Tennessee athletics. He came to practice, went to class, put up numbers Peterman and Worley can only dream about, took his lumps and generally acted like a 20 year old kid. Just what more, exactly, did you want from him????

sitinhere writes:

I would love to see Herman become the next Arian Foster. A Vol that gets in as an undrafted free agent and become top of his position. HL is a great player and a heck of a person.

When I see Bray, I see Jeff George, million dollar talent $.25 brain. It kills me to see a guy who has more talent than any other QB in the draft throw it away because of immaturity, laziness and bad attitude.

jbocap writes:

Patterson - I'm excited to see what he's going to do, and not surprised he was picked ahead of Hunter. Hunter played too soft his final season, maybe he was nervous from his ACL and didnt want to get hurt, but Hunter was not all that 'fun' to watch last season. CP was fun to watch...and he gets picked first.

Bray - I could care less about this idiot.

mbible1utk#324980 writes:

Lathers and Sentimore should both be able to find a fit, but the other three are probably done unless they want to become grad assistants

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to nocleats:

Unless his academic situation was in bad shape, I can't imagine what Sentimore was thinking or who he was getting advice from.

Couldn't agree more..Iam not sure how he figured 18 career tackles translated to a NFL career..Even if you were totally desperate for NFL money he must have known he was a longshot to e drafted..Now he's a long shot to even get a work out..Sentimore would have been a starter this year UT now he has no degree and little chance of a NFL career

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to eVOLved:

I think Bray has a good shot of realizing his potential. Once he's on a team, it'd be hard to deny his talent after they see him effortlessly zip the ball around.

I agree. His shortcomings don't disregard the fact that he lead the SEC in passing. IMO that alone made him draft worthy!!! KC is a decent situation for him..Iam sure he will make it to KC's preseason games but many a good player has gotten cut after just one bad preseason game..You can get in the game and have bad blocking;blown routes; bad play calls that lead to a INT or get some silly injury that keeps you out and all of a sudden your gone..Ainge had 2 years with the Jets while addicted to pain killers partly because he played well in preseason games.Bray has a very good agent so even if he gets cut; he will likely get another workout..You have to think he learned his lesson on his work ethic and is highly motivated and I really hope he makes scouts and UT fans that love to bash him eat crow..I don't think any VFL's here remotely believe Worley will lead the SEC in passing next year but Bray even with lesser WR's would still be near the top and under Jones he would have a totally different attitude but sadly we will never know..Any fan that has said they are happy Bray is gone may whistle another tune if Worley struggles like I think he will and Jones is forced to try Peterson and Dobbs to get any production at all..I hate to sound so negative concerning Worley but I can see him throwing plenty of INT's while forcing the ball into double coverage and small windows that Bray would pull off with relative success.Worley will have to face the likes of Oregon; the Gators and GA to start his career much the way Sims did and Jones smartly will do all he can to put him in good situations but never the less he will have to convert tons of 3rd and longs against these excellent defenses

bUTch_please writes:

This year's draft was a pretty accurate reflection of our players value. Patterson will be the most dynamic receiver in the league, he hypnotizes the defense when the ball's in his hands. Hunter has all the tools, some seasoning and toughen his attitude, he should be a solid contributor. Dallas will be a fixture and Mychal could be the steal of the draft. He has soft hands and runs downhill after the catch. Zach should earn a roster spot, gritty, smart and sneaky fast. Ben was badly underused here, and should play on special teams while he gets groomed to contribute on offense. Prentiss and Tyler will be lucky to get past Aug 28th.

Actually what I'm looking forward to is next years' draft...could be the first team ever to have its entire offensive line selected before the third round.
Big Uglie U!

DukeDeLuca2 writes:

Tyler Bray wasn't even an SEC caliber QB. He took some very, very bad advice. I hate to see it for the kid, but the window of opportunity is quickly closing. His pro career may be over before Tennessee plays Kentucky this fall.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to mbible1utk#324980:

Lathers and Sentimore should both be able to find a fit, but the other three are probably done unless they want to become grad assistants

Isn't that just a little hard unless you Graduate? Pick up up your back-pack buddy and head to class. There isn't any real shame in making a mistake if you go out and try to correct it.

thevoice writes:

Wonder how long Cordarrelle's earnings will last.

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to nocleats:

Unless his academic situation was in bad shape, I can't imagine what Sentimore was thinking or who he was getting advice from.

While at Alabama, his grades were an issue and he took off too many plays.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

I always thought Bray appeared to be laying down on his team and darn near sabotaging Dooley and staff. With Dooley being extracted from the program, he felt no need to cover for Bray and most likely blasted Bray to any and all NFL execs who quizzed him on Bray.

The last thing an NFL team wants is a player who is prone to sabotage or quitting. I'm surprised he was picked up as a FA.

leedsvol2007 writes:

Bray is a big talent who should have stayed another year. His ego got in the way.

Raw talent won't get you by in the NFL, witness Jeff George and others.

His 5 step drop was awful and he did not really read defenses he is a big kid growing into his body.

Here's hoping he uses this as motivation to prove everyone wrong.

In the meantime he could have been a real difference maker this year, worked on his issues and given Worley and Peterman another year to develop.

A loss for all involved.

OwensboroVol writes:

I have been thinking (no comments from the peanut gallery) and not being drafted may be the best thing to happen to Tyler Bray. If He realizes now that he has got to do the off the field work and does it I have no doubt he will make a pro team. If He allows his attitude to get in his way he will never make a team and will just be a footnote in Tennessee Football History. I'm really cheering for him. I think he has all the natural talent in the world and if he will just do the work he can be incredible.

Voltman writes:

Come on NFL teams. Give Herman Lathers a chance. Hes better than most of these nobodys you drafted in the 6th and 7th rounds

ivyvol writes:

in response to Voltman:

Come on NFL teams. Give Herman Lathers a chance. Hes better than most of these nobodys you drafted in the 6th and 7th rounds

Unfortunately, he's also slow.

jjk writes:

in response to hikerdude:

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bray will never start a game in the NFL. Big arm, little brain, bad attitude.

...which is why teams avoided him like the plague. Hope this has humbled him and will make him realize that he's with the big boys now and they're not gonna put up with his college party boy garbage.

jjk writes:

in response to sitinhere:

I would love to see Herman become the next Arian Foster. A Vol that gets in as an undrafted free agent and become top of his position. HL is a great player and a heck of a person.

When I see Bray, I see Jeff George, million dollar talent $.25 brain. It kills me to see a guy who has more talent than any other QB in the draft throw it away because of immaturity, laziness and bad attitude.

He brought it on himself. If he carried himself as a QB and leader, and worked harder at his craft, he would have been a first-round lock. Sad, sad waste of talent. He knows if he doesn't make it with the Chiefs, he should start getting sized for his Burger King uniform.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features