NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock said Thursday that USC defensive end Leonard Williams is his No. 1 defensive player in the draft.
During a pre-draft teleconference, Mayock said he had Williams No. 1 and Florida edge rusher Dante Fowler Jr. No. 2 among defensive players.
"Both are really special players," Mayock said.
Mayock said Williams (6-foot-5, 302 pounds) "can play all four or five defensive line positions." That versatility means Williams appeals to teams that use a 3-4 and those that employ a 4-3. He is a physical, powerful lineman, and his ceiling is high because he really hasn't yet matched his power with his athleticism.
Fowler (6-3, 261) was moved all around by Florida coaches; he lined up as a "traditional" end with his hand in the dirt, as a stand-up end and as a stand-up linebacker. That versatility is impressive; at the same time, the thought is that once he gets to the NFL and settles in at outside linebacker, he can put all his focus into learning the nuances of one position and get the most out of his athletic ability.