Lethal line

If the Tennessee Vols were as talented at other positions as they seem to be in the offensive line, the Big Orange just might be ready to claim another Sears Trophy.

Pete Fiutak of collegefootballnews.com recently ranked the top 25 prospects at each position for the 2009 NFL Draft. All five of Tennessee's offensive line starters for 2008 are listed.

Josh McNeil is ranked No. 5 among centers and Chris Scott is No. 14 among offensive tackles, even though both will be juniors in 2008. Senior Anthony Parker is rated No. 10 among guards, with senior Ramon Foster No. 13 and junior Jacques McClendon No. 20. Since you can only play two guards at once, Foster is currently stationed at right tackle.

Oddly enough, Fiutak ranks Vol senior tailback Arian Foster just No. 13 among running backs and behind two SEC underclassmen – No. 2 Knowshon Moreno of Georgia (a third-year sophomore) and No. 11 Ben Tate of Auburn (a junior).

No one from Tennessee is listed among Fiutak's top 25 wide receiver prospects but Jeff Cottam is ranked No. 23 among the pro prospects at tight end.

Tennessee's defense doesn't get a whole lot of love from the collegefootballnews.com analyst. Rico McCoy, rated No. 9 at outside linebacker, is the only Vol defender rated a 2009 NFL Draft prospect by Fiutak.

Senior Demonte Bolden and junior Dan Williams are not among the top 25 prospects at tackle, and senior Robert Ayers is not among the top 25 at end. Junior Demetrice Morley is not listed among the top 25 pro prospects at safety. Nor is senior DeAngelo Willingham among the top 25 at cornerback.

Vol senior Britton Colquitt, who will miss the first five games of 2008 under suspension, is ranked No. 9 among NFL punter prospects.

Counting Colquitt, Tennessee has nine players Fiutak ranks among the top 25 pro prospects at the various positions. Only LSU (12) has more among SEC programs. Florida has six, Alabama six, Ole Miss six, Kentucky five (all on defense), Georgia five, Arkansas five, South Carolina four, Auburn four, Vanderbilt 2 and Mississippi State one.

Here's a list of every SEC player Fiutak ranks among the top 25 NFL Draft prospects for 2009 at each position:

QUARTERBACK: 1. Tim Tebow, junior, Florida. 2. Matthew Stafford, junior Georgia. 23. Ryan Perrilloux, LSU.

RUNNING BACK: 2. Knowshon Moreno, third-year sophomore, Georgia. 11. Ben Tate, junior, Auburn. 13. Arian Foster, Tennessee. 18. Keiland Williams, junior LSU.

WIDE RECEIVER: 1. Percy Harvin, junior, Florida. 5. Demetrius Byrd, LSU. 12. Brandon LaFell, LSU. 22. Kenny McKinley, S.Carolina.

TIGHT END: 3. Cornelius Ingram, Florida. 14. Nick Walker, Alabama. 23. Jeff Cottam, junior, Tennessee.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE: 1. Andre Smith, junior, Alabama. 2. Michael Oher, Ole Miss. 14. Chris Scott, junior, Tennessee.

GUARD: 2. Herman Johnson, LSU. 10. Anthony Parker, Tennessee. 13. Ramon Foster, Tennessee. 15. Jim Tartt, Florida, 20. Jacques McClendon, junior, Tennessee, 25. John Jerry, junior, Ole Miss.

CENTER: 2. Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas. 4. Antoine Caldwell, Alabama. 5. Josh McNeil, junior, Tennessee.

DEFENSIVE END: 3. Greg Hardy, Ole Miss. 9. Antwain Robinson, Arkansas. 14. Jermaine Cunningham, junior, Florida.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: 1. Sen'Derrick Marks, junior, Auburn. 3. Al Woods, junior, LSU. 6. Tyson Jackson, LSU. 7. Jeff Owens, Georgia. 8. Ricky-Jean Francois, junior, LSU. 11. Peria Jerry, Ole Miss. 16. Myron Prior, Kentucky. 17. Geno Atkins, Georgia. 19. Marlon Favorite, LSU.

INSIDE LINEBACKER: 2. Brandon Spikes, junior, Florida. 4. Jasper Brinkley, S.Carolina. 5. Darry Beckwith, LSU. 9. Prince Hall, Alabama. 17. Micah Johnson, Kentucky.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKER: 9. Rico McCoy, Tennessee. 13. Freddie Fairchild, junior, Arkansas. 25. Dannell Ellerbe, Georgia.

FREE SAFETY: 3. Derek Pegues, Mississippi State. 4. Rashad Johnson, Alabama. 12. Curtis Taylor, LSU. 13. Aairon Savage, Auburn. 17. Marcus McClinton, Kentucky.

STRONG SAFETY: 8. Emmanuel Cook, junior, S.Carolina. 11. Trey Blackmon, Auburn. 15. Reshard Langford, Vanderbilt. 19. Jamarca Sanford, Ole Miss.

CORNERBACK: 4. D.J. Moore, junior, Vanderbilt. 8. Captain Munnerlyn, S.Carolina. 17 Trevard Lindley, junior, Kentucky. 25. Jerrell Norton, Arkansas.

PUNTER: 9. Britton Colquitt, Tennessee.

KICKER: 7. Joshua Shene, Ole Miss. 10. Leigh Tiffin, Alabama.


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