Four VFLs Ready For 2022 NFL Scouting Combine



Tennessee VFLs defensive tackle Matthew Butler, wide receiver Velus Jones Jr., offensive lineman Cade Mays and defensive back Alontae Taylor will showcase their skills at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine in primetime on NFL Network beginning Thursday evening at Lucas Oil Stadium.

A total of 324 prospects have been invited to the combine, including 82 from the Southeastern Conference. All four Tennessee players participated in all-star games last month. Live results are available at

Jones Jr. kicked things off on Thursday with measurements and on-field drills. The 2021 SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year represents the third straight combine that Tennessee will have at least one wide receiver on hand. Jones finished his career as the FBS’ active leader in kickoff return yards with 2,923 while averaging 24.4 yards per return. In 2021, he elevated his game catching 62 passes – 10th in single-season school history – for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. He was the only player in the nation with over 800 receiving yards, 200 punt return yards and 600 kickoff return yards.

Mays joined the offensive linemen in workouts on Friday. A 2021 All-SEC Second Team member, he started 10 games at right tackle and was a two-time SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week last fall. He played two seasons with the Vols, starting all 17 games he played in. He did not allow a sack through the first nine contests of 2021.

Butler has elevated his draft stock since last fall and will work out on Saturday. He collected 152 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks in his five seasons. He enjoyed the best season of his career in his final year, seeing action on 726 snaps and gathering 47 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. A 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-American, Butler participated in the East-West Shrine Game in Las Vegas last month.

Taylor and the defensive backs are slated for workouts on Sunday. The Manchester, Tennessee, native started all 12 games of the 2021 regular season, tallying a career-best 60 tackles, six pass breakups and two interceptions, including one for a touchdown. Taylor logged an interception in last month’s Reese’s Senior Bowl.

All four Vols will also have the opportunity to get in front of NFL scouts at Tennessee’s annual Pro Day, which is slated for March 30 on campus.

2022 NFL Scouting Combine Workout Schedule (live on NFL Network)
Thursday, March 3: Tight Ends, Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers (4-11 p.m. ET)
Friday, March 4: Offensive Line, Running Backs (4-11 p.m. ET)
Saturday, March 5: Defensive Line, Linebackers (4-11 p.m. ET)
Sunday, March 6: Defensive Backs (2-7:30 p.m. ET)

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