Linebacker Kevin Simon was the last former Tennessee player selected in the just-completed NFL Draft, going to the Washington Redskins with pick No. 250 in Round 7 on Sunday.
almost earned some notoriety. The draft consisted of 255 picks, so he was just five picks from being "Mr. Irrelevant," the whimsical honor accorded the final player chosen.
All told, five ex-Vols were picked during the two-day draft but only one (defensive back Jason Allen by the Dolphins) went in the first four rounds.
Three more (defensive end Parys Haralson to the 49ers, linebacker Omar Gaither to the Eagles and defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona to the Titans) went in Round 5.
Guards Rob Smith and Cody Douglas, tackle Albert Toeaina, tailback Gerald Riggs, linebacker Jason Mitchell, receivers Chris Hannon and C.J. Fayton are left to pursue free-agent contracts. The same fate awaits defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, who, like Smith, elected to bypass his senior season in favor of the draft.
Tennessee had three players selected within the first 15 picks of the 2002 NFL Draft – John Henderson, Donte' Stallworth and Albert Haynesworth. Allen was the first Vol to go in Round 1 since then, ending a three-year drought.
Interestingly enough, Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley was taken with pick 223 in Round 7 by the homestate Atlanta Falcons. He will be groomed to back up another mobile QB, Michael Vick.