The folks at NFLdraftsite.com must've seen him on his best day. That would explain why they project him as the 11th-best senior prospect available for the 2010 NFL Draft.
Posted at cbssportsline.com under the heading “2010 Senior Mock Draft,” NFLdraftsite.com's projection does not include underclassmen who might elect to turn pro with collegiate eligibility remaining. That explains why Vol junior safety Eric Berry is nowhere to be found.
Rico McCoy is not regarded as a first-round pick by most draft experts, yet he is rated an early first-rounder by NFLdraftsite.com. Perhaps they saw him last fall against Alabama, when he recorded a career-high 13 tackles. Or maybe they saw him register 11 tackles, a pass breakup and a hurry vs. Vanderbilt.
At his finest, McCoy flashes first-round talent. The problem is that he isn't at his finest quite often enough. For instance, he recorded back-to-back 2-tackle games against Georgia and Mississippi State last fall. And he missed the 2008 Outback Bowl against Wisconsin because of academic issues.
Rico McCoy a first-round draft pick? It could happen, but the 6-1, 220-pounder will have to be a lot more disruptive than he was last season. He ranked second among all Vol tacklers with 87 stops in 2008 but registered just 6.5 big plays (2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack and 3 pass breakups).
Here's another oddity: Tennessee had just three players drafted in 2008 and one (Robert Ayers) in 2009, yet NFLdraftsite.com pegs six Vols to be drafted in 2010 ... and that's only counting the seniors.
The website has McCoy going with pick 11 in Round 1, defensive tackle Dan Williams with Pick 9 in Round 4, center Josh McNeil with pick 25 in Round 5, guard Jacques McClendon with pick 25 in Round 7, offensive tackle Chris Scott with pick 30 in Round 7 and wideout Austin Rogers as a compensatory pick in Round 7.
For what it's worth, NFLdraftsite.com erroneously lists junior end Gerald Williams as a senior and projects him to be selected with pick 16 in Round 5.