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Mock Draft Monday: Free Agency Clears Up Predictions


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Little over a month remains until the Titans go on the clock with the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft from Chicago. That means draft experts are gaining confidence in their predictions as prospects go through their respective pro days and NFL teams fill voids through free agency.

It also means Titans general manager Ruston Webster and his team of scouts are finalizing their draft board with comprehensive rankings at each position.

That said, here are the latest mock draft predictions -- and there are plenty to cover. has three updated mock drafts from Daniel Jeremiah, Charley Casserly and Brian Baldinger.

Jeremiah says the Titans will go with USC DL Leonard Williams, especially after signing pass-rushers Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan in free agency.

"The Titans addressed edge rusher in free agency, and Williams can be a dominant interior presence," said Jeremiah.

Casserly agrees with his colleague, predicting the Titans take Williams.

"Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan fill their OLB need, making Williams the pick," said Casserly.

Baldinger has the Titans adding another pass rusher in Nebraska's Randy Gregory. It's important to note that his mock was completed before the additions of Morgan and Orakpo, but it's worth putting in here because of his comparison for Gregory.

"In a game where you must put pressure on the quarterback, Gregory could be the next Jason Taylor," he said.

Not bad company to be in.

The entire draft team of Rob Rang, Dane Brugler and Pete Prisco think the Titans take Williams.

"It is easy to envision GM Ruston Webster opting for the relative safety of Williams, the clear-cut top non-quarterback in the 2015 draft and a perfect fit at end in Ray Horton's defense," said Rang. "The 6-5, 302-pound Williams entered the 2014 season as my top-rated defensive prospect and did nothing to change that grade all year long. He is a physical mismatch -- too quick for interior linemen and too powerful for offensive tackles."

"It won't take long to find the wildcard of the first round as the Titans could go in a number of directions here, including trading back with a team needing a quarterback," is what Brugler said of his prediction. "Mariota is also in the conversation for Tennessee, but Williams is the current favorite to be the pick at No. 2."

"They signed two edge rushers, which means they can pass on one here and take the best player in the draft," Prisco said, lofting heavy praise on Williams.

Peter Schrager of Fox Sports put out the fourth version of his mock draft and also has the Titans taking Williams – again citing free agency signings to confirm his pick.

"The Titans addressed a lot of needs on the defensive side of the ball this month, first hiring Dick LeBeau as assistant head coach in charge of defense and then signing Brian Orakpo and Da'Norris Searcy and re-signing Derrick Morgan," said Schrager. "Williams is a defensive cog who can be a franchise player."


Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar]( changes things up, predicting the Titans take Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.

"There's a lot Mariota will have to learn at the next level — taking snaps under center and the complexities of an NFL playbook to name two, but he has the mentality to succeed," said Farrar. "He's proven that he can handle pressure at the highest levels and he's highly coachable, by all accounts. Once he gets the hang of all that, his mobility, combined with a greater feel for the pro game, could make him a transcendent player."

SB Nation’s Dan Kadar updated his mock draft Monday, but still thinks the Titans take Williams.

"Williams is the best playerin the 2015 NFL Draft. He's a brute up front and stout against the run," Kadar said. "He excelled in a variety of roles at USC, from playing five technique in a three-man front to a three technique in a four-man front. He can hold up outside because of his first step and surprising closing speed."

Walter Cherepinsky of updated his five-round mock draft. He has the Titans taking Mariota, Pittsburgh OT T.J. Clemmings, Florida State G Tre Jackson, Louisville S Gerod Holliman and Western Kentucky CB Cam Thomas.

Also, of, Charlie Campbell has a new five-round mock draft. Campbell says the Titans will take Mariota, Florida State CB Ronald Darby, Colorado State OT Ty Sambrailo, Penn State DE/OLB Deion Barnes and Alabama FB Jalson Fowler.

Bonus Links

• ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. updated his big board. Williams is his top player in the class with Winston, Cooper, White and Fowler rounding out his top five.

• Todd McShay put out a fresh ranking of his top 32 overall prospects. Winston, Williams, Cooper, White and Mariota are his top five. Georgia RB Todd Gurley is the biggest riser, moving into McShay's top 15 at spot 13.

• Bleacher Report's Matt Miller put out his Scouting Notebook following the second week of free agency.

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