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DON'T FEEL BAD, TENNESSEE

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BEING DRAFTED IS NOT THE ONLY KEY TO SUCCESS

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Plenty of people, including the folks I work for, wanna make jokes about Tennessee's 2016 NFL Draft class (or lack thereof):

I mean, I get it. You're one of college football's more storied programs, trying to get back on your feet, and this is easy ammunition for those who want to shovel dirt on your grave. But we're all well aware that the NFL Draft is a far from perfect process. Consider all these amazing talents that also didn't get selected and take comfort, Vols:

PRIEST HOLMES. Three straight years with at least 1,400 rushing yards and two straight with at least 24 touchdowns. For a stretch, Holmes was the most dangerous offensive player in the league - and every team passed on picking him in the 1997 Draft.

LONDON FLETCHER. Fletcher set a school record for tackles at John Carroll University and was named Division III Linebacker of the Year but didn't get a phone call during the 1998 Draft. He responded by winning a starting job as a rookie and went on to play in 256 consecutive games (an NFL record at linebacker), retiring with over 2,000 tackles, 39 sacks, 23 interceptions, and 20 fumbles forced.

WES WELKER. Grit and hustle and blue collar and does the little things and fiery competitor and heart of a champion and sneaky athleticism and even more grit.

URBAN MEYER. The Atlanta Braves took him in the 13th round of the 1982 Draft, though that doesn't count because you could get drafted by Major League Baseball. No, seriously, check your email. You've been a Biloxi Shucker for the last three years and didn't even realize it; the Brewers think if you can improve your plate discipline you might get called up in a couple months. Urban didn't let Braves stench or getting ignored by the NFL stop him from succeeding as a college coach, and it probably won't stop him from winning with the Rams in 2017.

CAPTAIN AMERICA. Tried like hell to get drafted but couldn't for medical reasons. The result? He gets to use PEDs and play for the Patriots and nobody says a word about it.

DINOSAURS. Dinosaurs were super cool, incredibly strong, and relentlessly vicious, but they somehow never managed to impress NFL scouts. (Bill Romanowski is technically a mastodon.)

MEATBALL SUB. Meatball sub doesn't have arms or legs or a brain. Meatball sub has no experience at any position, can't watch tape, and has the lowest possible ceiling of any draft prospect. That said? Staying put and picking a meatball sub would have been better than Tampa Bay trading into the second round to pick a kicker, even a very good one.

ROGER GOODELL. Undrafted but still stays the most bafflingly successful motherfucker in the NFL.