Have you ever left a party prematurely only to find out that a few icy kegs
of Heineken and Imperial rolled in shorty after you departed?
Cosey Coleman and Deon Grant know how you feel.
But rather than missing out on frosty brew, these gridiron hustlers
forfeited a few million dollars.
Both were predicted as first-round picks and surely thought leaving early
would be the most advantageous option.
Unlike Jamal Lewis, both could have returned next year as the unquestioned
leaders of the UT football team, but instead they must try to reconcile
their decision with their bank statements - Coleman in Tampa Bay and Grant
I wish I had that problem.
As for me, the lame duck sports editor with a limited amount of time and
space remaining to air my opinions, my only problem is trying to explain
the Ravens' first-round draft pick.
As a Cleveland, Ohio native, I'm tickled pink to see Jamal Lewis heading to
the Baltimore Ravens. Despite the fact that Art Modell recently stepped
down as owner, the atmosphere is still a perfect setting for a man with
I still have a hard time understanding how a back who was going to be
relegated to the back-up role in Knoxville could be the No. 5 overall pick,
but that's probably why I spend my afternoons in the catacombs of the
Communications building, churning out a sports section rather than working
on assignment for Mel Kiper Jr.
However, I do agree with the experts on most of the other Vols picked in
The New York Jets did themselves a favor by snatching Shaun Ellis at the
No. 12 slot. Ellis, who was seriously injured in a car accident less than
two years ago, showed flashes of greatness throughout his career with the
Vols and has the possibility to become an impact player within five
Two other Vols will try to make an impact at the site of the Vols 1998
national championship game, Tempe, Ariz.
Sun Devil Stadium is one of the most impressive in America and should be a
posh location for Raynoch Thompson and Darwin Walker to call home.
Both have proven themselves at the collegiate level, but neither will have
an easy time finding professional stardom.
However, each has the raw talent to make it big; the only question lies in
We have General Neyland, they have Vince Lombardi, and for now, Chad
Clifton as well.
The offensive tackle surprised some experts by going as early as he did to
the tradition-laden Green Bay Packers, but as a four-year fixture on the UT
offensive line, Clifton proved his durability and, evidently, his worth as
a second-round pick.
Despite Clifton's inability to perform the Lambeau Leap, he will be a
steady force on the Packer's line and will most likely be part of a
national Got Milk? ad campaign by the end of next season.
Down in the land of armadillos and oil fields, Dwayne Goodrich will have a
tough time keeping the ultra-demanding Dallas management squad happy, but
if the Illinois native returns to his form of the Vols' 1998 national
championship run, the Cowboys will look pretty sharp picking up Goodrich at
While all the aforementioned Vols will have a better-than-average chance of
becoming NFL regulars, one will have the best opportunity of making an
immediate impact - quarterback Tee Martin.
Not because Martin is the most talented of the bunch, but instead because
of the team that acquired his skills.
With the over-the-hill Mike Tomczak and the consensus
overrated-player-of-the-decade Kordell Stewart sharing the quarterbacking
duties last season, the Steelers are in desperate need of a strong leader,
and if nothing else, Martin has proven himself as much.
If Martin plays within himself and Bill Cowher hangs on to his job, look
for the Martin-led Steelers to battle the Titans and Jaguars for the AFC
Central title in just a few years.
In conclusion, I just hope to see all guys that brought a national title to
Knoxville do well - not only in the NFL, but, more importantly, in the game
Well, at least I hope they all remain out of jail.
Draft picks provide good, bad surprises
Published: Tue Apr 18, 2000 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 02:14 p.m.