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ESPN draft expert reveals NFL comparison, best team fits for Cedric Tillman

Alex Weberby:Alex Weber02/09/23

After their explosive year on the field this fall, the pillars of Tennessee’s offense are headed to the NFL Draft. Recently, ESPN NFL Draft analyst and insider Matt Miller assessed his top-10 wideouts for the 2023 cycle, which of course included a couple of Volunteers. But we’ll focus just on Cedric Tillman for today, as we covered Jalin Hyatt’s analysis a few weeks back.

Miller gathered intel from two scouts on Tillman, one who spoke very positive about him and one who was more skeptical. Then, Miller gave his own take on the talented UT wideout and offered up a comparison to a current player and looked at some teams he would fit well with.

So take a long look at Cedric Tillman’s draft analysis according to Matt Miller:

First Scout

“Tillman has WR1 ability, but I want to see him run in person,” one scout said. “The injury kept me from seeing him, but he has the size and production profile we want.”

A solid review, though this scout wants to see if Tillman is physically 100% with his own eyes after the injury issues this fall.

Second Scout

“He played in that wide-open, vertical offense that doesn’t really translate to what we’re doing in the pros. I’m not sure he can separate against NFL cornerbacks without the spacing of the college game.”

Interesting take there saying the Volunteer offense was so well designed that it helped Tillman get open more than he may in the NFL? Still feels like a compliment of sorts.

Miller’s own take

“The 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior dominated the early parts of the 2022 season — including a 9-catch, 162-yard day against Pitt — before suffering an ankle injury in mid-September and struggling to consistently find his way back onto the field. On the year, Tillman caught just 37 passes for 417 yards and three scores over six games, but evaluators see his potential.

“Tillman did have 1,081 receiving yards and 12 TD catches in 2021. He had eight career catches before breaking out with 64 that year, and his career yards per catch is 14.9. Tillman’s ability to outmuscle defensive backs and compete for 50-50 balls is impressive, and if healthy, he will be one of the most anticipated runners at the combine as teams try to determine his true burst and acceleration skills. Right now, Tillman carries a solid top-75 grade.”

Player comparison: Robert Woods.

Best fits: Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots.