Latest 2025 NFL Mock Draft has Tennessee's James Pearce Jr. Going Top Three

The latest NFL 2025 mock draft has Tennessee football player James Pearce Jr. going inside of the top three in the first round.
Tennessee defensive lineman James Pearce Jr. (27) points at a flag thrown against Texas A&M during a football game between Tennessee and Texas A&M at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.
Tennessee defensive lineman James Pearce Jr. (27) points at a flag thrown against Texas A&M during a football game between Tennessee and Texas A&M at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. / Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA
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The latest NFL 2025 mock draft has Tennessee football player James Pearce Jr. going inside of the top three in the first round.

The 2024 college football season hasn't even started but that hasn't stopped 2025 NFL mock drafts from rolling in. The Tennessee Volunteers have a major name for fans to watch on NFL draft boards this season as edge rusher James Pearce Jr. is projected to be one of the first names off the board, and one of the latest mocks agrees.

The Draft Wire recently released a two-round mock draft that featured Pearce Jr. going third overall to the New England Patriots with Missouri's Luther Burden and Michigan's Will Johnson going ahead of him. Pearce Jr. had a phenomenal 2023 season with the Volunteers and many expect to potentially be even better in his likely final season as a collegiate athlete.

No other Volunteers were included in the two-round mock draft, but Pearce Jr. going top five would be massive for the program. Heupel being an offensive-minded head coach creates the expectation that they should always produce names from that side of the ball, and they have so far, but having a defensive headliner creates a new discussion.

In 2023, Pearce Jr. finished with 14.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and 28 tackles for loss. He played a massive role in helping the Volunteers take a massive step forward on the defensive side of the ball.

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Jonathan Williams

JONATHAN WILLIAMS