Another Vol that didn't hear his name called in the 2020 NFL Draft has signed a contract as an Undrafted Free Agent. Seattle Seahawks have reported that former Tennessee and Arizona Western tight end Dominick Wood-Anderson has signed a deal to join their franchise. Wood-Anderson was a two-year starter for the Vols, and made his presence felt during his two years in Knoxville. Wood-Anderson may not have had the kind of receiving numbers with Tennessee that were anticipated, but he impacted games in other ways. Wood-Anderson is one of the players that Tennessee will feel the loss of most keenly. The Seahawks have secured a tight end that can do whatever they ask of him.
Out of high school, Wood-Anderson followed the JUCO route, signing to play with Arizona Western. During his time in Yuma with the Matadors, Wood-Anderson showed that he could be a dynamic athlete at his size. At 240 pounds, Wood-Anderson was running routes like a wide receiver. He showed speed that was difficult to matchup with as a tight end, and he displayed excellent hands out wide. When the Matadors asked him to, he was an impact blocker as well. Wood-Anderson was a major piece of the 2017 Arizona Western team that played for the NJCAA National Championship. It was his impressive size, his completeness as a tight end, great athleticism, and the role on such a successful team that allowed Wood-Anderson to be a four-star prospect and the number one JUCO tight end in the nation.
Wood-Anderson arrived at Tennessee with Jeremy Pruitt. After the 2017 season, Pruitt arrived late in Knoxville, scrambling to piece together a recruiting class before the very first early signing day. One of the major signings that Pruitt and his staff managed was landing Wood-Anderson as he came out of Arizona Western. Wood-Anderson on paper looked to be a major part of the offense for Tennessee, catching the first touchdown the Vols scored under Jeremy Pruitt when the Vols opened the 2018 season against West Virginia. Unfortunately, the receiving yards and the production didn't come for Wood-Anderson in his career at Tennessee like both sides had hoped for. That said, it wasn't a failing by Wood-Anderson that caused this. The 2018 Tennessee offensive line struggled mightily in all aspects of the game. Tennessee's talented tight end was one of the best blockers on the roster, possibly the best in game in 2018 after injury and illness respectively sidelines Brandon Kennedy and Trey Smith. The Volunteer line struggled so much to open holes or protect the quarterback, the coaches had to keep Wood-Anderson in to block most of the time. Despite his expectations, Wood-Anderson never complained, and threw himself into developing as an excellent blocker, making the most of his receiving opportunities when he got them. Wood-Anderson suffered from poor quarterback play, needing to help a struggling offensive line, and frankly being too valuable a blocker with the Vols. He is a hard-working teammate who still has that impressive athletic ability, and he leaves Tennessee with 408 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns.
The Seahawks have found a solid player to risk a UFA Contract on. Much like when he joined Tennessee, Wood-Anderson now arrives in Seattle to a team plagued by offensive line struggles. Wood-Anderson's ability to be an asset as a pass and run blocker will make him valuable to a Seahawks team that desperately needs to give Russel Wilson better protection. Wood-Anderson is a better receiver than his collegiate stats show, and he is probably carrying a little more weight than is ideal for his role as a receiver. That weight is weight that the Tennessee staff needed him to carry to help with his blocking. Wood-Anderson can develop into a player that helps protect Wilson, but can also give him a valuable weapon. This is more than a training camp body that the Seahawks have signed, Wood-Anderson's skillset and the Seahawks' needs means this is a player that should stick on the Seattle roster.