Top DTs, picks 6-10

The old saying "It's what's up front that counts" is true, especially in terms of defensive football. The teams with strong fronts almost invariably allow fewer yards and fewer points than the teams that are merely average up front.

Through the past 40 years Tennessee's defensive fronts have featured some excellent tackles – guys who could jam the middle of the line and stop the running game cold. Thus, trying to pinpoint the Vols' 10 best defensive tackles of the years 1964-2004 was no easy task, especially when you add some outstanding middle guards to the pool of contenders.

Still, picks 6 through 10 are posted below. I'll post picks 1 through 5 later today.

10. SHAZZON BRADLEY: He started at middle guard as a true freshman, started at middle linebacker as a sophomore, struggled with injuries as a junior, then started at defensive tackle as a senior. Wherever he played, he was the most aggressive and intense guy on the field. The only recognition he ever earned was Freshman All-SEC in 1988 but this guy was a true warrior.

9. MARION HOBBY: A starting tackle in 1987 and '88, he moved to end in '89 and promptly earned All-SEC recognition at his new outpost. Selected in Round 3 of the 1990 draft, he played four seasons in the NFL.

8. SHANE BONHAM: After transferring in from Air Force, he lettered as a backup in 2002, then distinguished himself as a starter in 2003. Tough and technically sound, he was a third-round pick in the 1994 NFL Draft. Bonham went on to play six solid seasons in the pros.

7. SHANE BURTON: A four-year letterman, Burton switched over from tight end and started at defensive tackle in '95. He earned no honors at the collegiate level but was picked in Round 5 of the 1996 NFL Draft. He spent eight quality years in the pros with the Dolphins, Bears, Jets and Panthers.

6. DARWIN WALKER: This rugged transfer from North Carolina State started at right tackle in 1998 and 1999. Blessed with superior strength, he helped UT win a national title in '98. Selected in Round 3 of the 2000 NFL Draft, he has become a quality pro. Walker spent a year with the Arizona Cardinals and is soon to begin his sixth year with the Philadelphia Eagles.

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