NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With the NFL Draft now less than three weeks away, NFL writers and draft analysts are zeroing in on their mock drafts and who the Titans might acquire with the #2 overall selection.
Several analysts who work with NFL Media are chiming in.
Lance Zierlein has the Titans taking USC defensive end Leonard Williams, saying "The combination of Jurrell Casey and Williams would be a formidable duo for Andrew Luck to deal with within the division."
Brian Baldinger says the Titans will take Florida outside linebacker Dante Fowler, Jr., who many believe will go to the Jaguars at #3.
Said Baldinger: "Ray Horton's defense gets the draft's best pass rusher and puts him opposite Brian Orakpo."
Bucky Brooks believes the Titans will go with Williams. "The Titans need a disruptive defender with the explosive athletic traits to play multiple positions in Dick LeBeau's 3-4 zone blitz scheme," Brooks said. "Williams should wreak havoc as the designated 'bull in the china shop' along the frontline."
Charles Davis also has the Titans selecting Williams. "The best player in the draft is the selection, even though the Titans have made noise about taking QB Marcus Mariota."
Daniel Jeremiah is sticking with Williams. "The Titans addressed edge rusher in free agency, and Williams can be a dominant interior presence."
Charley Casserly also believes the Titans go with Williams. "Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan fill their OLB need, making Williams the pick."
In other mock drafts, CBS Sports.com's Will Brinson says the Titans will select Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. "The only thing better than landing a sure-fire franchise quarterback for a two-win team? Landing a guy who qualifies as a franchise guy to buy yourself three more years," Brinson said. "The fit doesn't seem logical with Ken Whisenhunt, but people are starting to figure out Mariota can do plenty of the things required of a starting NFL quarterback."
SI.com's Don Banks projects the Titans trading the pick to San Diego for QB Philip Rivers and the Chargers' first-round pick (#17 overall). "Sometimes the speculation is right, and the dots do connect," Banks said. "With Philip Rivers making it clear he's not excited about the prospect of a move to Los Angeles in 2016 and thus playing out the final year of his contract this season, there is some sound reasoning behind the notion that he could wind up in Tennessee playing for Titans second-year coach Ken Whisenhunt, his former Chargers offensive coordinator."
ESPN's Mel Kiper says the Titans will go with Mariota. "As I've said before, I think Mariota has done as much as he can to show he wasn't just a system guy at Oregon," Kiper said. "I wouldn't want to start him right away in 2015, but you can't question Mariota's physical profile or his potential to improve and grow as an NFL quarterback given his attitude and work habits."
Gary Myers of the New York Daily News agrees that the Titans take Mariota. "He's still the hottest player in the draft," Myers said. "Most intriguing rumor is Chargers trading Philip Rivers to Tennessee to get up here to take Mariota."
Walter Football.com also has the Titans taking Mariota. "Both Chris Mortensen and Jim Wyatt reported back in January that Tennessee is set to go 'all in' with Zach Mettenberger next season. That was accurate back then, but things have changed," the website reported. "The Titans' front office has gotten to know Marcus Mariota, and now it would be a surprise if Mariota wasn't the No. 2 overall pick in some shape or form."