Vols to Watch in the 2009 NFL Draft

While Tennessee’s representation in this year’s draft may be a little lighter than past years, Robert Ayers leads a handful of Vols that should end up professionally and gainfully employed come the end of April.

Arian Foster
Foster is the embodiment of the tragic hero ideal at running back. By all objective accounts, he is a talented running back, but he was cursed with the fatal flaw of being at the scene of many crimes against Tennessee football thanks to ill-timed fumbles.

But if you can escape that bright scarlet letter, you can see that Foster was a very productive SEC running back with quick feet, outstanding field vision, and patience with the ball. Though he was rumored to be a 2nd round projection last year, the difference of a year and another layer of bad mojo could mean a drop to the 4th or 5th round.

But hey, if things don’t work out, he always has that philosophy store waiting on him.

Possible Matches: Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals

Anthony Parker
Parker has the luxury of leaning on his versatility, which is something that the NFL teams of today crave. Though he could play guard or tackle, most of his potential could be seen as a center due to his height.

He’ll be a classic 5th-7th depth chart draft pick and may reward a franchise that can afford to coach him and season his talent.

Possible Matches: Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers

Ramon Foster
Foster is an intriguing prospect to those who can look past the initial hesitations. Undeniably talented, Foster’s reputation suffered because of his willingness to play through injuries.

There are also some concerns about his quickness, but a transition to guard could be just what the doctor ordered. He has a chance to sneak into the later rounds, but more than likely he will receive an undrafted free agent deal.

Possible Matches: San Diego Chargers, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Pittsburgh Steelers

Demonte Bolden
Bolden’s name probably won’t be heard amongst the chatter going on in NFL war rooms, but he does have a chance to catch on as a 7th rounder or undrafted free agent for teams needing warm and angry bodies.

His talent as a run-stopper and relative speed for a defensive lineman should lead to someone taking a flyer on him. With some of the teams trending towards quicker defensive lineman, Bolden should warrant a second or third look from teams needing depth in the trenches.

Possible Matches: Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans

Robert Ayers
Ayers is obviously the cream of the Volunteer crop this year as he is projected to be selected in the middle of the first round. Though something of a late bloomer, Ayers took advantage of this year’s opportunity to showcase his talents and proved his worth as a pass rusher and playmaker.

He may not have the speed of Everette Brown or athleticism of Brian Orakpo, but there is a workman-like quality to his game that should translate well to the NFL, as he does not have to rely on one facet of his game to make a difference.

DE is a deep position this year, which could result in Ayers slipping into the late 1st or early 2nd round, but he is definitely a first round talent that should be snapped up early.

Possible Matches: Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Buffalo Bills, Atlanta Falcons

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