By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
Brandon Williams spent Thursday night watching the first-round selections in the National Football League Draft with family and friends.
His phone rang once — it was his brother — but more calls are almost certain today when Williams could be selected during the second or third round of the seven-round draft.
“A couple of my buddies went. I’m excited for them,” he said. “Tyler Long (Oregon guard, taken No. 20 by Chicago), Barkevious Mingo (LSU defensive end, No. 6 by Cleveland) ... I’m happy for them.”
Williams, a three-time All-American at Missouri Southern and the NCAA Division II defensive player of the year, was ranked around No. 10 among available defensive tackles by most scouting services and draft analysts.
His name moved up on the draft board as four defensive tackles were selected in the first round.
Linemen — three offensive tackles and three defensive ends — went on the draft’s first six selections.
No defensive tackles were taken until the New York Jets grabbed Sheldon Richardson of Missouri at No. 13 — a pick they obtained from Tampa Bay in the Darrelle Revis trade — and the Carolina Panthers took Star Lotulelei of Utah at No. 14.
Florida defensive tackle Sharriff Floyd, expected by many to be the first DT selected, went to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 23. Five picks later, the Denver Broncos took Sylvester Williams of North Carolina.
Entering tonight’s second round, the top-ranked defensive tackles available — according to CBSSports.com — are Jesse Williams of Alabama, Jonathan Hankins of Ohio State, Kawann Short of Purdue, John Jenkins of Georgia, Williams, Bennie Logan of LSU and Montori Hughes of Tennessee-Martin.