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Mock Draft Monday: Leonard Williams Trending at #2


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There are only a few updated mock drafts to report on this week after most draft analysts updated their predictions following the Super Bowl last week.

In our last edition of 'Mock Draft Monday," over half – 6-of-11 to be exact – of the updated mock drafts had the Titans selecting USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams. Analysts are saying it's Williams' versatility and rare athletic talent that make him arguably the top player in the 2015 draft class.

Williams can play as a three-technique tackle in a 4-3 defense or a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4. Here’s an article explaining defensive line positions if you need a refresher. The ability to move guys around a defensive line throughout a game is a huge tool for a defensive coordinator.

To get an idea about the importance of versatility, go back and watch Michael Bennett’s game tape from the Super Bowl. Bennett found his way into the back field from nearly every position on the Seahawks defensive front and gave the Patriots offensive line fits the entire game.

On to the mocks…

ESPN’s Todd McShay (@McShay 13) released his mock draft 2.0 and says the Titans will go with Williams.

"Williams is the complete package -- he can two-gap as a run-stuffer, but he can also penetrate and make plays against both the pass and the run," McShay said of Williams. "He'd make Jurrell Casey even better by drawing more double-teams and allowing Casey to do what he does best: use quickness to establish positioning, and disrupt.

"Having two studs in Williams and Casey on the defensive front would provide a boost for a team that ranked 31st in the league in rushing yards per game allowed last season."

That's about as glowing of a review as possible.

In the mock, McShay has Winston going first overall to the Buccaneers and Mariota going sixth to the Jets.


Pat Kirwan of]( (@PatKirwanCBS) put out his first mock draft and says the Titans are going with Jameis Winston.

"I don't think Tennessee will stay in this spot but someone desperate for a QB will come up to No. 2 and it is even more likely a trade partner is waiting if Mariota is available," Kirwan said.

Walter Cherepinsky of (@walterfootball) updated his four round mock draft, but hasn't changed his predictions for the Titans in the first three rounds – QB Marcus Mariota, G Josue Matias, and LB Hau'oli Kikaha.

The one change is that Cherepinsky has the Titans taking Virginia safety Anthony Harris in the fourth round.

"The Titans desperately need to find some help in the secondary at both corner and safety. The latter position is the bigger area of need," Cherepinsky said.

He previously had the Titans going with Stanford safety Jordan Richards with the pick.

Charlie Campbell of (@DraftCampbell) updated his three round mock and added a fourth round. His first two rounds are unchanged – the Titans still go with QB Marcus Mariota and DE Nate Orchard.

In the third round, Campbell has the Titans going with TCU CB Kevin White after having Samford safety Jaquiski Tartt in that spot previously.

"While White (5-9, 180) is undersized, he is a gritty cover corner who competes and does a nice job of not allowing separation," said Campbell. "He had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl. In 2014, White recorded 51 tackles with four tackles for a loss, two interceptions and 11 passes broken up. He was impressive with how he defended West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White (3-28). He looks like a potential slot cornerback for the NFL."

In the fourth round, Campbell says the Titans will stay in the secondary, selecting Michigan State safety Kurtis Drummond.

"He is a smart and instinctive safety who covers a lot of ground in the back end. However, Drummond has to improve his eye discipline," said Campbell.

Bonus Links

ESPN Insider Field Yates (@FieldYates) tabbed four teams who should trade up for a QB – the New York Jets (currently pick six), the Chicago Bears (currently pick seven), the St. Louis Rams (currently pick 10) and the Philadelphia Eagles (currently pick 20).

Many mock drafts have Mariota slipping to the Jets at number six, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't consider moving up to improve their chances at one of the two top QBs. The Eagles are the most intriguing case with Chip Kelly's relationship with Mariota.

What the Buccaneers do with the first overall pick will obviously affect the trade market for the Titans at number two, but GM Ruston Webster's phone should be ringing plenty regardless.

Bleacher Report’s NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) published his pre-combine big board, ranking the top-300 prospects in this year's draft.

Winston, Williams, Randy Gregory, Mariota and Kevin White make up Miller's top five. Of note here, Miller has White jumping Amari Cooper as the top receiver in the draft.


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