Breaking: Cade Mays Selected in NFL Draft
Former Vols offensive lineman Cade Mays has been selected 199th overall by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Mays is the fourth Vol to be selected in the draft, joining Alontae Taylor (Pk. 49), Velus Jones Jr. (Pk. 71) and Matthew Butler (Pk. 175). Mays joins Trey Smith as Tennessee offensive linemen to be selected in in the sixth round back-to-back years. The Knoxville, Tennessee native is the 87th Vol to be drafted since 2000 and the 378th Vol to be selected in the NFL Draft in program history.
The 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl participant enters the pros after four years of college play, two spent with Tennessee.
Mays dealt with his fair share of injuries during his two seasons on Rocky Top, but he still was able to start 17 games for the Vols and served as one of the top offensive linemen on the right side both years. Due to depth issues, Mays started all 10 of his games in 2021 at right tackle after spending 2020 primarily at right guard.
During Senior Bowl week, the VFL saw more time playing inside. Although Mays struggled at times in Mobile, he still put his power and strength on display, something he continued to show as the offseason progressed.
Mays was also invited to the NFL Combine and participated in Tennessee’s per day, where he did 21 reps of 225 pounds at the bench.
The 23-year-old brings a versatile skillset to BLANK but will have to work on getting upfield with his blocks and getting faster with his hands.
During a scouting combine press conference, Mays touched on the dream of playing in the NFL.
“Ever since high school, it’s been my dream to play in the NFL,” Mays said. “My freshman year made it a reality. I was playing with some good guys in that room, and it made it a reality that I knew [football] was going to be my life.”
In addition, Mays noted how special it was to be able to go home and play ball with his brother the past two seasons.
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“Helped me a lot,” Mays said regarding playing on Rocky Top. “Being able to go home and experience playing two years with my brother on the same line, and making some good friends and lifelong relationships. Also having two coaching staffs, I learned a lot from both of them.”
Below are Mays’ career honors throughout his time as a collegiate athlete. (Courtesy UT Athletics Cade Mays Page)
2022 NFL Combine Invitee
2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl Invitee
2021 All-SEC Second Team (AP, Coaches)
2021 All-SEC Third Team (Phil Steele)
SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week (at Missouri, 10/4/21; at Kentucky, 11/6/21)
2018 FWAA Freshman All American
2018 SEC Coaches All Freshman Team
Fun fact: Cade Mays is taken with the same pick as Tom Brady was taken in the 2000 draft (No. 199).
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Photo Credit: Calvin Mattheis, Knoxville News Sentinel