For Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings, the NFL Draft wait is finally over.
Jennings was taken by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of Saturday’s draft, with the No. 217 overall pick.
According to his NFL.com draft profile, the Murfreesboro native was ranked as a 5.40-level prospect.
That translates to a priority free agent, which means the fact that Jennings has been drafted at all is an improvement on his previously existing draft stock.
While many have knocked Jennings’ speed compared to other receivers (as evidenced by a 4.72 40-yard dash), his tenacity is unmatched.
Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt even vouched for his former receiver earlier this week during an appearance on Knoxville radio station 99.1 The Sports Animal.
"I don't care what Jauan Jennings runs in the 40, I don't care what he jumps on a vertical. All I know is throw him the ball,” Pruitt said. “You want the ball in the guy's hands. Wherever he gets drafted he's going to play."
While Jennings may not have the speed of other receivers, his grit has led to a number that, for a pro receiver, should be as impressive, if not more: broken tackles.
According to Pro Football Focus, Jennings led all college receivers with 30 broken tackles on only 57 catches in 2019.
He also finished his UT career at fifth in all-time receptions (146), fourth in receiving yards (2,153) and tied-for-fifth in touchdown receptions (18), according to Tennessee athletics.
Those numbers alone prove that Jennings is as tough as he is dependable, and from what we’ve seen in his time on Rocky Top, no one loves the game more than No. 15.
And no one has endured more of a roller-coaster, either.
From moving from quarterback to receiver; to burning Jalen Tabor against Florida; to the Hail Mary at Georgia; to being kicked off then-Brady Hoke’s team after a social media rant; to returning as a fan favorite in the Jeremy Pruitt era— Jennings’ journey has been quite an odyssey.
Now, a historic book officially has a new chapter.
And it will start in San Fransisco.