Vol draft outlook for '05

Tennessee had no players picked on Day 1 of the recent National Football League draft but that should change when the 2005 draft rolls around.

Barring injury, three Vols could be Day 1 picks next spring -- linebacker Kevin Burnett, tackle Michael Munoz and punter Dustin Colquitt.

Coming off an ACL injury in 2002, Burnett played just so-so in 2003. He looked like the pre-injury Kevin Burnett this spring, however, and should have a banner season in 2004. If so, he should be a second-round NFL draft pick next spring.

Munoz also has seen his career slowed by knee injuries. His dad, Anthony, is widely regarded as the finest O-lineman in NFL history, however, and that will help Michael's draft stock -- just as being Archie's son and Peyton's brother helped Eli Manning's draft stock last weekend. It's early, but Michael looks like a second- to third-round pick.

Punters and kickers rarely get drafted on Day 1 but the Green Bay Packers picked Ohio State's B.J. Sander in Round 3 last weekend, then cited the fact he is leftfooted and excels at directional punting as two key reasons. Guess what? Colquitt is leftfooted and excels at directional punting. He should go as highly next spring as Sander did this spring.

Other Vols who will be draft-eligible next spring are center Jason Respert, wide receivers Tony Brown and Derrick Tinsley, tailbacks Cedric Houston and Jabari Davis, defensive end Karlton Neal and return specialist Corey Larkins. If Tennessee has a good season in 2004, several of them could be drafted. My early forecast is that Houston and Respert go in Round 6, with Brown a possibility for Round 7.

Finally, I predict that 6-6, 365-pound juco transfer Albert Toeaina will be so impressive next fall that he'll elect to bypass his senior year and turn pro. He is very raw but each year's NFL Draft is filled with raw guys who have potential, and Albert has eye-popping potential. I see him being a second-round pick ... maybe even a first-rounder.

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