Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin admits he fully expects Eric Berry to declare for the 2010 NFL draft after Thursday's Chick-fil-A Bowl against Virginia Tech. It's not much of a surprise - popular opinion is that Berry will be a high pick next year (something I don't necessarily agree with).
"Eric's played man-to-man coverage, we've blitzed him, he's played back in the middle and he's played down. So to be able to do all those things and then also to play on our special teams as many snaps as he has, he's created a lot of draft value for himself. I would think he'd go extremely high -- whenever he leaves. I would anticipate him probably not being with us next year."
"I told him from my perspective he's done everything he can do. If he wants to go, this is the time to go. I would never want to hold someone back from that, because it would be real hard to live with yourself if you tried to convince someone to stay and then something happened to him injury-wise and they weren't able to get what they had worked so hard for." - Lane Kiffin
The Seahawks will send scouts to the Vols game tomorrow, according to Scout.com's Chris Steuber. He reported on his twitter page yesterday that Seattle, Dallas and Houston will have representatives at the game. It's not difficult to imagine who their focus of attention will be. I've voiced my concern for Berry's tackling qualities a number of times on this blog and I maintain that I'll be surprised if he goes as high as most people appear to think. On October 25th I wrote this article raising the issue, and in September I spoke about why I believe Berry and fellow safety Taylor Mays have been over rated in most quarters.