UT foes may be 1st-rounders in '08

The dust scarcely has cleared following the 2007 NFL Draft, yet one expert already has assembled his first-round projections for the 2008 draft. Not surprisingly, several players Tennessee must face this fall are on it.

In a story entitled "NFL Draft 2008: B.B. is king with Run DMc gaining ground," Pete Prisco of CBS.sportsline.com rates Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm the early favorite to be next year's No. 1 draft pick. In fact, Prisco suggests that Brohm would've gone No. 1 this year had he elected to bypass his senior season with the Cardinals.

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, who shredded UT's defense for 181 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries in a 31-14 romp last November, is No. 2 on Prisco's list. He'll be visiting Knoxville Nov. 10 for this year's rematch. Joining him will be Prisco's No. 31 draft prospect, fellow Hog back Felix Jones.

Here's what Prisco has to say about the Razorbacks' dynamic duo:

2. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas: He's as good Adrian Peterson, this year's top back, if not better. McFadden has the explosive speed, plus power.

31. Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas: He gets overshadowed by playing with McFadden, but Jones has big-play speed. On any other team, he's a star.

Prisco ranks California wide receiver DeSean Jackson No. 6 on his projected 2008 NFL Draft list. Jackson burned the Vols to the tune of four catches, 87 yards and a TD in last fall's opener. He'll get another shot at the Big Orange in this year's opener Sept. 1 at Berkeley.

Here's what Prisco has to say about the Golden Bear standout:

6. DeSean Jackson, WR, California: This junior can fly. Every time he touches the ball, the opposition has to fear the big play. He's a heck of a return man as well.

Prisco lists four more SEC players – Florida defensive end Derrick Harvey (15), Georgia defensive back Paul Oliver (19), LSU wideout Early Doucet (21) and LSU defensive end Tyson Jackson (23) – among his 32 first-round candidates.

Harvey and the Gators host the Vols Sept. 15 in Gainesville. Oliver and the Bulldogs visit Neyland Stadium Oct. 6. The Vols and LSU won't meet this year unless it's in the SEC Championship Game. For what it's worth, Doucet caught the four-yard TD pass from JaMarcus Russell with nine seconds left that gave the Tigers a 28-24 victory last November in Knoxville.

No Tennessee players made Prisco's 32-man draft list but senior quarterback Erik Ainge and senior safety Jonathan Hefney are listed as "In the Mix" for first-round draft consideration. So are Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson, LSU linebacker Ali Highsmith and Cal quarterback Nate Longshore.


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