Titans move up to grab defensive end Hayes

Sunday, April 27, 2008 at 12:04pm

The Titans moved up in the fourth round to the 103rd pick overall and selected Winston-Salem State defensive end William Hayes.

The Titans traded pick No. 124 and their fifth-round choice, No. 157, to Washington to move up.

Hayes, 6-3, 260, played some linebacker at Winston-Salem before being moved almost exclusively to defensive end, where he had 8.5 sacks as a senior for the Division II school.

Hayes, who once attended a football camp run by the Titans Jevon Kearse, is excited to be a Titan.

"It feels too good," Hayes said. "This is where I need to be. I feel at home already."

He was not invited to the NFL Combine, but opened eyes when he ran a 4.61 40-yard dash at a pro day at nearby Wake Forest.

Titans scout Cole Proctor had already been on him, seeing him during the heat of two-a-days working hard. Winston-Salem's coach left Proctor three DVDs to watch of Hayes, but only one of them worked.

"It was the Florida A&M game and it happened to be one of his best games, so I knew I had to go back and see some more," Proctor said.

Hayes was recruited by North Carolina, Clemson and Notre Dame in high school, but when he failed to make grades, he had to settle for playing at Winston-Salem State.

Some, including ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper, indicated that the Titans might have reached for Hayes, who said he is eager to prove wrong.

"I'm the one to prove the doubters wrong. You ain't never gonna see me get content and stop working," Hayes said. "I'm ready to come down there and get read to work and prove Mel Kiper and everybody who had something negative to say wrong."

Filed under: Sports