An Inside Look at Most Draftable Vols

With Tennessee's players holding a draft to build teams for Saturday's annual Orange and White Game, it seemed like a good idea to list the first 11 players from UT's current roster (minus signees) that would be picked to build an NFL franchise. What follows is my top 11 picks along with 11 honorable mentions. Evaluations are based on a combination of performance and potential.

Kevin Burnett: Returned from knee surgery in September of 2002 to have a productive 2003 campaign in which he remained injury free for the first time in his college career. Burnett appears to have regained his swagger, picked up a step and honed the instincts that prompted defensive coordinator John Chavis to redesign his scheme to feature Burnett's play at weak side linebacker. If he can remain healthy look for K.B. to wreak havoc in the SEC this fall.

Michael Munoz: One of only a handful of players that have come to Tennessee and become a starter from Day One, Munoz is big, strong and consistent. An excellent technician who can dominate when healthy, he has played through pain and injuries and is adept at run blocking in addition to pass protection. A quiet leader who inspires by example and comes with an impressive pedigree, Munoz has been under appreciated due to impossibly high expectations that heralded his arrival.

Jason Allen: His stock has skyrocketed since a standout game against Alabama last year that was followed by another sterling performance against the Miami Hurricanes. Allen's aggressive play frustrated Cane's all-American tight end Kellen Winslow who projects as an early pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. Allen has the size and agility to play safety or corner and offers that match-up for big wide receivers coaches covet.

Parys Haralson: A classic rush linebacker who can pressure passers, collapse pockets and chase tailbacks down from behind, Haralson has grown into a defensive end in his first two years on the Hill. Known as "Matrix" by his UT teammates, Haralson seemingly has the ability to sometimes defy the immutable laws of physics. An avid weight lifter with exceptional quickness and awesome agility, Haralson appears to be on the precipice of greatness.

Kevin Simon: He's still regaining the form that made him the nation's top rated defensive player in 2001 out of De LaSalle High School in California and the move to middle linebacker should make that transition complete. There are still questions about whether he has the size to play MLB at the NFL level and he didn't appear as comfortable in pass coverage on the outside last year, but his outstanding 4.4 speed and instincts should enable him to overcome those obstacles.

Jayson Swain: He didn't have an outstanding freshman season but displayed flashes of the big-play ability that made him one of America's most wanted in 2003. Swain still has a lot to prove but he also has the size, speed, strength and skills to become a highly productive receiver and it would be an upset if that doesn't happen at Tennessee and eventually the NFL.

Robert Meachem: The highest rated receiver Tennessee has signed in over a decade, Meachem is a burner and potential game breaker. Only knee surgery last fall kept him out of the lineup as a true freshman and he appears ready to make a dramatic impact this season after a solid spring. In addition to 4.3 speed Meachem has the size, hands and leaping ability to consistently produce big plays and his mere presence makes UT's offense dangerous.

Jesse Mahelone: This junior college defensive lineman is one of the best natural run stoppers the Vols have ever signed. He'll have adjustments to make to the Division I level but should develop into an anchor in the middle of a formidable defensive front. Mahelone also has the ideal build to play nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme which will allow the Vols greater flexibility up front on defense in addition to tapping into its depth at linebacker. A two-gap D-lineman that offenses will be forced to double team.

Albert Toeaina: Generally regarded as the top offensive lineman coming out of the junior college ranks, Toeaina can become a dominant force at tackle. He hasn't gotten up to speed this spring but such adjustments are to be expected. Remember Gibril Wilson who also came from San Francisco Community College didn't immediately hit his stride at Tennessee. The same is true of JC stars like Demetrin Veal, Julian Battle and Corey Terry.

Turk McBride: The nation's No. 1 rated defensive end coming out of high school, McBride got a little game experience as a true freshman last fall but is only now beginning to show his vast potential. Could become a great pass rusher who also has the size and strength to hold up his end of the line against the run.

Dustin Colquitt: An offensive weapon who is a threat to flip field position any time he enters a game, Colquitt came into his own last year and was named a Ray Guy finalists. Should have a long career in the NFL following in the footsteps of his father and uncle.

The Next 11: Corey Campbell, Omar Gaither, James Banks, Cedric Houston, Arron Sears, Cody Douglas, James Wilhoit, Justin Harrell, Jason Hall, Rob Smith and Daniel Brooks.


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