Leonard Williams Mock NFL Draft Stock Up for Debate, More USC Football News


Can’t get enough USC football news? We’ve got your morning dose of all the best content from around the web concerning the men of Troy.

1st & 10:

First Take… For a while now, we’ve heard that Leonard Williams could go in a few different places in the draft, due to both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota being highly coveted by teams with glaring needs at quarterback.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are surely taking a quarterback, while the Titans seem poised to do so too at No. 2, though with less certainty. That leaves the Williams sweepstakes in the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars with the third pick.

But while Williams, would be an obvious choice for anyone not needing a quarterback, the Jags are in a good place on the defensive line, making things interesting.

And for Williams, it might be a perfect situation though he might ultimately be the best player in the draft. He’s repeatedly claimed that he baaaadly wants to be selected by the Oakland Raiders, who pick fourth.

So if Jacksonville were to pass on Williams and address other needs –like receiver or linebacker– it’s obvious they pick him. Right?

Oakland is badly in need of a pass rusher and especially one who could be an anchor to a defensive line for the next decade. Just imagine him paired with linebacker Khalil Mack, the Raiders’ slam dunk first round pick last year.

It makes too much sense, should both Tennessee and Jacksonville pass.

But Raiders and sense don’t go hand in hand. So allow Charles Davis’s latest mock draft at NFL.com to enter stage left.

FOX’s No. 1 college football analyst has Oakland passing on Leonard Williams in favor of Lane Kiffin’s most recent pet of choice, Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.

That would be welcome news for the Washington Redskins at No. 5 and more ammo for the long-winded meme of the Raiders being draft illiterate.

And of course, it would give plenty of reason to make Williams angry.

On Pro Day, he joked with reporters that he was telling teams “if you pick a quarterback over me, I’m going to hurt him.”

Cooper isn’t a quarterback but let’s feel sorry for Derek Carr anyways if the Raiders were to pass on their No. 1 fan, who is perhaps the best defensive tackle prospect since Ndamukong Suh.

Suh was the first non-quarterback taken. Williams should be too.

And Ten Links…

  1. USC picked up commitment No. 4 in the 2016 class on Wednesday in the form of 4-star offensive tackle Nathan Smith. (Reign of Troy)
  2. Smith told Gerard Martinez that USC was just the right fit, while lauding the coaching staff. (USCFootball.com)
  3. The evaluation period opened up on Tax Day, with the Trojans’ coaching staff going all over the Southland. (LA Times)
  4. We’ve talked a lot about Tate Martell lately. He visited the spring game and has been all USC on Twitter over the last few days. But how about his adopted brother Tyjon Lindsey? He’s drawing comparisons to De’Anthony Thomas in a ‘package deal’ with Martell. (The Oregonian)
  5. While all the focus falls on recruiting, Mike Piellucci profiles USC’s strength and conditioning coach Ivan Lewis. (TrojanSports.com)
  6. The Trojans have to find a way to replace Nelson Agholor. Could it be Steven Mitchell and not JuJu Smith that does the trick? (Conquest Chronicles)
  7. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott and current CFP committee member Condoleezza Rice spoke yesterday about the playoff system, praising the 4-team format. (ESPN)
  8. Devon Modster, a 2016 4-star quarterback out of Tesoro committed to Arizona on Wednesday. USC had some interest before starting to recruit Matt Fink. (SB Nation)
  9. USC women’s tennis has a big match with No. 5 UCLA on Thursday. The No. 2 Women of Troy  are looking to sweep the season series with the Bruins. (Daily Trojan)
  10. 21 up and 21 down for USC’s sand volleyball team, as they finish the regulation season undefeated. (The Ripsit Blog)

Stat of the Day:

How good was Max Browne in the spring game? His 24-for-37, 251 yard and two touchdown performance was nearly identical to Cody Kessler’s 25-for-37, 288 yard and one touchdown game against Stanford in 2013. At the time, that was seen as Kessler’s coming out party. Though take it with a grain of salt, as obviously a non-tackling USC defense missing key players is no where near as good as Stanford’s 2013 defense.

Tweet of the Day:

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