Former Tennessee Volunteers in the 2010 Draft

Here's a brief recap of the former Vols that made the 2010 NFL Draft (and a few free agents to boot):

Player Round Overall Team
Eric Berry 1 5 Kansas City
Dan Williams 1 26 Arizona
Montario Hardesty 2 59 Cleveland
Jacques McClendon 4 129 Indianapolis
Chris Scott 5 151 Piitsburgh
Jonathan Crompton 5 168 San Diego

 

Eric Berry

Berry not only went in the overall top five of this year's draft -- a rare feat for a safety -- he may start immediately for the Chiefs due to their current problems at the position. He'll be honoring Inky Johnson by wearing Johnson's number (29), and it won't be the first time, either. By the way, as good as Berry is, he says his twin brothers Evan and Elliot are just as fast, just as driven, and "way ahead" of Eric. They'll start high school in the fall. Yes, start. Perhaps they'll finish faster?

Dan Williams

We talked about Big Dan on Friday.

Montario Hardesty

Cleveland got a steal by getting Hardesty in the 2nd round with the 59th pick overall, at least according to Trooper Taylor:

 

"I had several teams call and ask me about him and about his character and what kind of kid he is, his toughness," former Vols running backs coach Trooper Taylor said. "I think the knock has been that he’s been injured, but what I told them is that they’ll be another team that gets a steal.

"He’s a guy that’s going to show up every day and be on top of his game, not going to be a guy you’re going to have to get out of jail or break loose from the media for saying something that’s going to embarrass the team or doing things like that. And he knows what to do with that football."

Jacques McClendon

There were buckets of surprise being passed around the interwebs when Indianapolis picked McClendon in the 4th round. McClendon wasn't invited to the NFL Combine and didn't play in any college all-star games, yet the Colts apparently love his combination of size, speed, and intellect, the latter of which McClendon realizes he's going to need to play on the offensive line in front of Peyton Manning:

"I really didn't expect to go so early, but then my cell phone rang and it was the Colts GM (Bill Polian) telling me they were about to take me with their next pick. I got really excited and told him there was no other organization I would want to play for."

. . . .

"Most people don't get to go into such a great situation," McClendon said. "To be going to a team that played in the Super Bowl last year, and to be blocking for one of the best quarterbacks of all time in Peyton Manning, that's a real blessing and the payoff for a lot of hard work.

"I still have my Peyton Manning jersey that I got when I was a kid and he was playing for Tennessee. And I've got a helmet he autographed that I keep at my mom's house. I know Peyton is a perfectionist, so I'll have to go in there and learn quickly and execute at a very high level."

Chris Scott

Scott finds himself in the ironically unenviable task of having to defend Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger. Har har, I crack me up. Okay.

The Vols used Scott in a variety of positions along the o-line, and he's likely to settle in at guard for the Steelers. Regardless of what position he plays, he's excited:

"It's a good deal, man," Scott said. "I really have a good feeling about it. I tell you, from the outside looking in, (waiting to get picked) can't be as hard as people make it out to be. But after going through it, watching television and the picks and waiting for that phone to ring, it can get a little nerve-wracking.

"But when that phone actually does ring, you're so happy. I'm just ready to go to work for them. Everybody's telling me the organization is top-notch, and hearing all this stuff about their organization and their situation, it seems like a perfect fit."

Jonathan Crompton

With Crompton heading to San Diego, where he'll be the third option in a relatively stable quarterback situation, he may finally have some time to study the same offensive scheme for two years in a row. Or maybe the entire coaching staff will turn over every time he digests a playbook like it did for him at Tennessee.

Free Agents (duplicate link)

  • Long snapper Morgan Cox has signed with Baltimore.
  • Linebacker Rico McCoy and defensive back Dennis Rogan are both headed south to Tampa Bay.
  • Receiver Quintin Hancock is going to get wet and smell like coffee in Seattle.
  • Tight end Jeff Cottam signed with Cincinnati, which I can never spell correctly the first time. That and "vacuum."

A few extra nuggets on this year's draft from UTSports.com:

  • Tennessee's two first-round selections (Eric Berry and Dan Williams) give UT seven first-round picks in the last five drafts. That mark is tied atop the Southeastern Conference along with Florida and LSU.
  • Tennessee had a total of six players selected, which is the most in one draft since 2007 (also six).
  • UT's six selections ranks third in the SEC behind Florida (9) and Alabama (7).
  • The 2010 draft is the 25th time in the 75-year history of the event that Tennessee has had at least six players selected.
  • Eric Berry (fifth overall) is the highest UT draft pick since Jamal Lewis in 2000. Lewis was also selected fifth overall.
  • Dan Williams is the 13th Tennessee defensive lineman selected in the NFL Draft since 2000.
  • Montario Hardesty (59th overall) is the highest-selected UT running back since Travis Henry was selected 58th overall in the 2001 draft.
  • Jonathan Crompton is the third UT quarterback selected since Peyton Manning was taken first overall in 1998 (Erik Ainge in 2007 and Tee Martin in 2000).
  • Tennessee has not had multiple offensive linemen selected in one draft since 2002 (Fred Weary and Reggie Coleman).
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