2002 Vol draftees thriving

Pat Kirwan, senior writer for NFL.com, can't understand how any analyst can justify "grading" the recent NFL Draft picks who have yet to play a snap at the professional level. The former New York Jets personnel director says you must wait four years before you can offer a legitimate assessment.

With that in mind, Kirwan recently graded the first-round picks from the 2002 draft. Tennessee fans may remember the '02 draft as the one which saw three Vols taken among the first 15 picks – defensive tackle John Henderson (Pick 9 to Jacksonville), wide receiver Donte Stallworth (Pick 13 to New Orleans) and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (Pick 15 to the Tennessee Titans).

How did the Vol trio fare in Kiran's assessment? Exceptionally well, as a matter of fact. All three got at least a "B" grade, clearly justifying their first-round selection.

Here's what Kirwan had to say about the three Vol draftees:

9. John Henderson -- A 16-game star every season with over 200 tackles. (A+)

13. Donte Stallworth -- A good receiver with 195 receptions and 23 touchdowns. (B)

15. Albert Haynesworth -- Had his best year in '05, but had half the production of Henderson with 103 tackles and 7½ sacks. (A-)

To view Kirwan's thoughts on the entire 2002 first round, go to NFL.com, then click on "Looking back more important looking forward."

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