NASHVILLE, Tenn. – ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. still believes the Titans should select USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams with the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He went as far as to say Williams is the best player in this draft class.
"He's a disruptive force," Kiper said of Williams. "People talk about sacks, well he's not going to be a great pass rusher off the edge. There are ways to be a good and effective pass rusher to get sacks … It's how disruptive you are on a play-by-play basis. This kid hustles, he's tremendously impactful against the run, he's a disruptive force as a pass rusher because he's so long and so athletic and he anticipates throws so well. He gets into throwing lanes, bats passes down and affects the way a quarterback delivers the football in terms of accuracy.
"I think Leonard Williams would be the missing link and be the finishing entity on a 3-4 defense that's already brought back those two guys on the outside (Morgan and Orakpo) … I think he's the best player in the draft."
Kiper has had the Titans selecting Williams in the latest two versions of his mock draft and will likely stick with the prediction when version 4.0 comes out in the coming weeks. Being true to his word, Williams also sits atop Kiper's big board ahead of Jameis Winston, Amari Cooper, Kevin White and Dante Fowler Jr.
ESPN's draft expert also touched on multiple right tackles that could be options for the Titans. Tennessee is in the market at that position now that Michael Oher is in Carolina. Byron Stingily and Jamea Thomas are currently on the roster and have starting experience at right tackle, but it's likely the team will look to add a potential starter or depth at the position in the draft.
Kiper tabbed a few prospects that could be instant contributors if the Titans decided to spend their second-round pick (33rd overall) on a right tackle.
"At that point, it would be T.J. Clemmings from Pittsburgh," Kiper said. "If he were there as a right tackle he could be an immediate starter. He played well at that spot. He's a defensive lineman-turned offensive lineman. He didn't play high school football until late and is a late developing player overall.
"Ereck Flowers from Miami is another guy who would play at right tackle at a high level right away. He'll probably be gone, but he's a great pick if he's there."
One interesting name to keep an eye on is Cedric Ogbuehi of Texas A&M. Ogbuehi had a first round grade until he tore his ACL in the Liberty Bowl against West Virginia. His upside might lead a team to roll the dice and take the talented lineman in the second round or early third round.
Here are a few more names Kiper threw out as possible options at right tackle.
"Jeremiah Poutasi out of Utah is another one," he continued through his rolodex of names. "If you're looking down the line a little bit, you're looking at Daryl Williams maybe in the third round out of Oklahoma who can be a real good player at that spot. If you want an offensive lineman who's moved up, Jake Fisher out of Oregon is in the late first, early second-round category at left tackle. I've always been a little higher on Sean Donnelly from Tulane than people in the league seem to be. I think he can be a late rounder or priority undrafted free agent."