NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We end our series of top prospects the Titans could potentially land second overall with defensive lineman Leonard Williams out of USC. Over the last few weeks, more and more national draft analysts are predicting that Williams will be in a Titans uniform come April 30th.
That includes Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN.
It also includes Bleacher Report's NFL Draft Lead analyst Matt Miller, who says Williams is the best player in the 2015 draft class not named Jameis Winston.
Leonard Williams, DL (USC)**
Williams finished his three-year career at USC with 21 sacks and two interceptions. He earned first team All-Pac-12 honors two years in a row and was named second team AP All-American in 2014.
Much of Williams' draft stock comes from his ability to play at any defensive line position in any defensive scheme. That said, most agree he is best suited as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 defense like the Titans run.
Strengths: The Rare Athlete
Miller: "Leonard Williams is just an elite athlete. I think you have to start there. I had the advantage of seeing him in person the week of the Super Bowl and getting to watch him train. He is amazing. It's rare, and I've been doing this a long time. He doesn't look like he weighs 300 pounds and he doesn't move like most guys who are 300 pounds. His athleticism is top-tier.
"He has a couple of ways to get into the backfield. He is quick off the ball, but also has impressive agility. He uses his hands well and he's very strong.
"The fact that he can play as a three-tech or five-tech where he played at USC is huge. He's played left end, he's played right end. In Tennessee and across the NFL, that versatility is so key because teams are moving guys around so much. Having a guy who can play inside or outside and still make an impact is super important."
Needs to Show: Health is not a Concern
Miller: "The big question mark is that he had a lot of minor injuries at USC. Nothing major, but he was always kind of banged up, so the question is if he will be able to hold up at the next level with bigger and stronger blockers."
NFL Comparison: Richard Seymour (with the Patriots)
Miller: "I compare him with Richard Seymour as just a high level athlete with top tier potential. He could be one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in a few years."