Big-time blockers

Tennessee has signed some heralded offensive line prospects in recent years – Michael Munoz, Jason Respert, Sean Young, Cody Douglas, Albert Toeaina and Rob Smith – yet none of these players was selected in the NFL Draft. In fact, UT hasn't had an offensive lineman drafted the past two years.

Between 1998 and 2004, however, Tennessee may have qualified as Offensive Line U. Five Vol blockers drafted during that span are still active in the NFL. All five have at least a dozen starts at the pro level, and four of the five are projected to start in 2006.

Here's a look at this distinguished group:

Trey Teague, taken by Denver in Round 7 of the 1998 draft, is expected to start at center for the New York Jets. He started 60 of 64 games for the Buffalo Bills from 2002-2005, missing four games due to injury.

Chad Clifton, chosen by Green Bay in Round 2 of the 2000 draft, is expected to start at left tackle for the Packers this fall. He has started 80 of 85 career games, including 48 of 48 in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Cosey Coleman, selected by Tampa Bay in Round 2 of the 2000 draft, is expected to start at right guard for the Cleveland Browns this year. He started 14 games last year, missing two due to injury. Counting his years with the Bucs, he has started 77 of 85 NFL games, including 63 of the past 64.

Fred Weary, taken by Houston in Round 3 of the 2002 draft, is projected to be a backup guard for the Texans in 2006. He started 12 games as a rookie but has been limited to part-time duty the past three years due to assorted injuries.

Scott Wells, a Round 7 pick of the Packers in 2004, is projected to be Green Bay's starting center this fall. He started two games as a rookie in 2004 and 10 games last season (two at center, eight at left guard).

What does it all mean? Maybe, just maybe, the Vols can get back to producing points in bunches if they can get back to producing top-notch offensive linemen.

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