Whether this makes PFW's opinion on next weekend's NFL Draft any more credible than anyone else's is open to debate. Regardless, Pro Football Weekly's 2007 Draft Guide suggests that Tennessee players could figure prominently in the upcoming talent lottery.
PFW ranks ex-Vol Arron Sears No. 1 among all draft-eligible guard prospects, even though Sears played mostly tackle as a senior last fall. The write-up on Sears describes him as "a massive man with both strength and core power ... packs a powerful punch and gets good hand placement ... angle blocks were outstanding – can block out the sun ... should be able to contribute quickly and for a very long time in the pros." Because guards tend to be a low priority, PFW suggests Sears is no lock to go in the first round, listing him as a Round 1-2 draft pick.
PFW rates Justin Harrell No. 3 among defensive tackle candidates, noting that he is "very fluid for his size with great functional playing strength ... shows good initial quickness to get into the gaps and disrupt, outstanding strength to stack the point and surprising range to make plays outside the tackle box." The magazine also lists Harrell as a Round 1-2 draft pick.
PFW tabs Robert Meachem No. 5 among the wide receiver prospects, explaining that he offers "very good size and outstanding production ... shows savvy as a route runner and can separate with quickness and double-moves." The magazine projects Meachem as a Round 1-2 draft pick, as well.
PFW ranks Turk McBride No. 7 among defensive tackle prospects, noting that he "plays with a great motor and runs to the ball ... leaves everything he has on the field and goes all out ... good versatility – has played every position on the line." PFW projects McBride as a Round 3-4 draft pick.
PFW tabs Jonathan Wade No. 13 among cornerbacks, grading him lower than most publications. The magazine explains that Wade "does not have great size. Gives up too much separation in man coverage and is too often out of position." Still, PFW lists him as a Round 3-4 draft pick.
PFW projects that just three fullbacks are likely to be drafted but lists Tennessee's Cory Anderson as the fifth-best prospect at the position and lumps him in a category called "Best of the Rest." The magazine's blurb describes him as a "naturally strong blocker (but) not a true throwback."
Marvin Mitchell is not among the 10 inside linebackers PFW projects to be drafted but is ranked No. 12 and also listed among the "Best of the Rest" at his position. His blurb notes merely that "first-year starter led the Vols in tackles."
PFW's 2007 Draft Guide ($6.99 on newstands) does not mention Vol receivers Jayson Swain and Bret Smith, safety Antwan Stewart or kicker James Wilhoit.