If you want to know how far the Tennessee football program has fallen in recent seasons, you need not look much further than the last two NFL drafts. The Vols didn’t have a single player drafted during that span – ending the school’s 51-year draft streak in 2015 – but before having that streak snapped, the Vols sent arguably two of the best players in league history to the NFL.

NFL.com recently launched a new series ranking the top four players from each of the top 10 schools to send players to the NFL. First up is Tennessee and the name at the top of their list was no surprise.

Peyton Manning

Who else but the reigning Super Bowl champion?

The NFL’s reasoning behind the pick:

Manning — a 14-time Pro Bowl pick and five-time league MVP — owns most major passing records, including most career passing yards (71,940) and touchdowns (539). He also owns the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single season (55 in 2013).

Reggie White

Super Bowl champion with the Green Bay Packers and famed sack artist who left the NFL as the game’s most dominant force in both getting to the passer.

The NFL’s reasoning behind the pick:

White — the “Minister of Defense” — retired as the NFL’s all-time sacks leader (198, since broken by Bruce Smith’s 200). White was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a 13-time Pro Bowl selection.

Jason Witten

Witten has been one of the Cowboys best players ever since he was drafted in 2003 and he rarely leaves the field. Witten even once played the entire season with a lacerated spleen back in 2012.

The NFL’s reasoning behind the pick:

Witten — a 10-time Pro Bowl pick — ranks second all-time (behind Tony Gonzalez) in career receptions and yards for a tight end.

Doug Atkins

The NFL’s reasoning behind the pick:

Atkins — an eight-time Pro Bowl selection — was a devastating pass rusher and the frontman of the Chicago Bears‘ 1960s version of the “Monsters of the Midway,” which helped the team win the league championship in 1963.

According to the NFL, Tennessee has sent a total of 323 draft selections to the NFL, 45 first-round picks and two Hall of Famers in Atkins and White. Look for that total to jump to four as soon as Manning and Witten are eligible.

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Tennessee online sports betting officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.