Latest News: Tennessee Volunteers Star Rated No. 1 To Become Top Pick of 2025 NFL Draft

Though the 2025 NFL Draft is less than a year away, a few players are in the running to be the first choice. James Pearce Jr. of the Tennessee Volunteers was mentioned as one of the chosen few who can go first down the line in this sense.

Pearce’s ascent to fame has been nothing short of extraordinary. The native of North Carolina was almost unknown three years ago; in 2021, he received his first power-conference invitation. But Tennessee saw his promise early on, and in 2022, Pearce quietly signed with the Volunteers without the customary pomp associated with signing day.
Pearce’s stock didn’t start to soar until the following January, when he climbed roughly 400 ranks and received a four-star rating. The youthful defensive end had a quiet rookie campaign, but as a sophomore in 2023, he burst onto the spotlight with an exceptional blend of speed, power, and pass-rushing ability.

In his multiple-sack performances against South Carolina, Virginia, and Iowa, Pearce established himself as a reliable threat to the Vols defense. He stands out from many of his collegiate contemporaries due to his natural ability and raw athleticism. If he keeps improving his technique and refinement, he may be able to join the elite group of NFL draft prospects, which is something no Tennessee defense has ever done. His quick ascent from relative unknown to superstar status is evidence of his skill and work ethic, and college football fans are taking note.

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