KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – After no selections from Tennessee in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the third round had a decidedly orange tint.
The Los Angeles Rams selected Tennessee defensive end Byron Young 77th overall on Friday. Between the Detroit Lions picking star quarterback Hendon Hooker 68th overall to Young’s selection, four of the 10 players chosen went to Tennessee.
Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee’s first ever Biletnikoff Award winner, went 73rd overall to the New York Giants. Fellow wideout Cedric Tillman went one pick later to the Cleveland Browns.
Young’s journey to reach the NFL reads like a Hollywood script. He worked as an assistant manager at a Doller General in Columbus, Georgia for a year and half before earning spot on the football team at Georgia Military College.
He transferred to Tennessee ahead of his junior year in 2021 and put together two solid campaigns on Rocky Top. He started all 13 games in 2022, ranking top five in the SEC with 42 QB pressures and sixth in sacks.
He capped his college career with a flourish, recording three tackles and two sacks in Tennessee’s win over No. 7 Clemson in the Orange Bowl.
Young was invited to the 2023 Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine, where he turned heads with his exceptional athletic measurables. He posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.43, the fourth-fastest by a defensive lineman since 2003. His 11-foot broad jump and 38-inch vertical were well above the 90th percentile for his position.