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ESPN analyst highlights James Pearce Jr.

Tennessee Volunteers edge rusher James Pearce Jr. continues to receive 2025 NFL Draft hype, this time from the global leader in sports.

Tennessee edge rusher James Pearce Jr. is one of the best defensive options in the sport, especially considering the premium value of a pass rusher. He is an early favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2025 NFL Draft, and draft analysts are excited about his potential.

Pearce was a consensus All-SEC first-team selection during his sophomore season after leading the conference in sacks and putting together a dominant performance in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes. ESPN draft analyst Field Yates helped put together a preview for the 2025 NFL Draft class and raved about Pearce’s skills.

“Colorado WR/DB Travis Hunter and Tennessee edge rusher James Pearce Jr. are the two names that immediately come to mind because they both pop up so much on film,” Yates explained. “Hunter brings rare fluidity and talent to two distinct positions, showing effortless speed and instincts. As a receiver, he had 57 catches for 721 yards with five touchdowns last season; on ball defense, he grabbed three interceptions and had seven pass breakups. “

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