Six Vols among tops at positions

Most University of Tennessee football fans wouldn't rank the 2006 team as one of the more talented squads of recent vintage. Yet, six '06 Vols are ranked among the top five prospects at their positions heading into this weekend's NFL Draft.

That's based on rankings compiled by NFLdraftscouts.com and published by USA Today.

Incredibly, Cory Anderson is ranked No. 1 among fullback prospects, even though he was so ineffective that he scarcely left the Vol sidelines during the second half of the 2006 season. He carried just one time for one yard all season and caught three passes for another 11 yards.

Robert Meachem is ranked No. 2 among receiver prospects, trailing only Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson. Meachem set a school record with 1,298 receiving yards last fall and produced 11 touchdowns.

Arron Sears is tabbed No. 3 at guard, trailing only Auburn's Ben Grubbs and Texas' Justin Blalock. Sears started 37 career games as a Vol, proving himself capable of playing both guard spots and both tackle spots.

Justin Harrell is rated No. 3 among defensive tackles, trailing Louisville's Amobi Okoye and Michigan's Alan Branch. Harrell missed the final 10 games of 2006 with a torn bicep but flashed tremendous potential during his junior season.

Two spots behind Harrell comes Turk McBride, who checks in at No. 5 among tackle prospects. He switched over from end to tackle following Harrell's injury and finished 2006 with 68 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback hurries.

Jonathan Wade is ranked No. 5 at cornerback, following Michigan's Leon Hall, Pitt's Darrelle Revis, Texas' Aaron Ross and Arkansas's Chris Houston. A former track guy, Wade registered 52 tackles, four interceptions and an eye-popping 17 pass breakups in 2006.

Other ex-Vols ranked among the top 400 prospects are Marvin Mitchell (No. 15 among inside linebackers), Antwan Stewart (No. 18 among strong safeties) and Jayson Swain (No. 47 among receivers).

For what it's worth, NFLdraftscout.com projects Meachem and Harrell as Round 1 selections, Wade and Sears as Round 1-2 picks, McBride as a Round 2-3 prospect and Anderson as a Round 5 talent. Mitchell, Stewart and Swain are rated as Round 7/free agent possibilities.

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