With the 2015 NFL Draft just 62 days away, both Todd McShay, and Mel Kiper Jr. have moved University of California DE Leonard Williams to the top of their big boards, and almost everyone on the planet has penciled him in as the Tennessee Titans pick at number two.
As Tim the Tool Man Taylor used to say, “Back the Truck Up!”
Greg Cosell, from NFL films was reported by ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter, Paul Kuharsky as not being sure that the USC Junior is as good as he looks on paper.
"“I’m going to be in the minority here, and I am sure there are a lot of people who think I am a moron, and it wouldn’t be the first time, but I’m not blown away by Leonard Williams,” Cosell said in his weekly interview with my Nashville radio show, The Midday 180 on 104.5 The Zone.“I think he tends to play high, I think he tends to show his chest, which is a really bad thing for a defensive lineman. I wouldn’t say he’s a natural pass-rusher. I didn’t think he played real well sort of in space. I thought there were too many snaps in which he was moved by double teams. I think that he’s flash player. Every once in a while you see a certain play and you go, ‘Wow, that’s pretty good.’ But I don’t see him as a purely explosive player the way you’d think of let’s say a Gerald McCoy coming out of Oklahoma or a Sheldon Richardson coming out of Missouri.“Again, I’m not going to sit here and tell you he’s a bad player. But people are talking about him now as if he’s a Hall of Fame player. I’ve watched four games now, and some people would say that’s plenty, and I’ll probably watch even more because I know I’m in the minority and I want to make sure I’m not missing anything — but that’s what I see on film.”"
I’m sure that if a film junkie like Greg Cosell has seen these decencies on film, Defensive Head Coach, Dick LeBeau, and his staff have either seen the problems, or will, when they start analyzing the tape.
I’ll have to admit, it got me to thinking!
If the Titans stay-the-course, and intend to make a defensive statement with the second pick, and don’t trade down with someone wanting to draft Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, the biggest need is a pass rush.
The most complete player on the board, that could address that problem may well be Dante Fowler Jr out of the University of Florida.
The 6 foot 3, 261 pound Junior played on the D-Line in The Swamp, but could be the edge rusher that Tennessee sorely needs in their new 3-4 defense.
ESPN’s Todd McShay moved Fowler up in his newly-released Mock Draft 3.0, and going to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the third pick.
Fowler is not as good physical specimen as Randy Gregory, out of Nebraska, but is a better football player. He had a great scouting combine, and I am sure he will be in Nashville during the upcoming process.
"Fowler isn’t as athletic as Nebraska’s Randy Gregory — the guy I had Jacksonville taking previously — but he’s a more complete player who can not only rush the passer but also set the edge against the run. That’s the difference between him and Gregory, who is long and explosive but just 236 pounds."
According to all accounts, Dante Fowler has great football instincts, and is battle-tested in the Southeast Conference. I think he might just be a better fit in Nashville, and could be a big surprise on April 30th.