NFL Draft: 1st round talent Connor Williams declares

BERKELEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Offensive lineman Connor Williams
BERKELEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Offensive lineman Connor Williams /

A knee injury has cost Connor Williams playing time but it won’t stop him from declaring for the NFL Draft

Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams will forgo his senior season and declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. Projected to be a first-round pick, Williams suffered a near-devastating knee injury in September when his left knee was rolled up on against USC.

Diagnosed with a torn meniscus and a sprain to his MCL and PCL, Williams missed seven games after opting not to undergo surgery.

NFL teams will be leery of Williams coming off a major knee injury and he’s likely to be berated by doctors at the combine this winter.

More from Big 12

Prior to his injury Williams was projected to be a top-10 pick and potentially the first offensive lineman off the board when the clock starts in Dallas. With this injury, he’s likely to slip out of the top-10 but remain in the first round.

Players from the Big 12 typically have trouble translating to the NFL, but offensive tackles have rebuffed that notion. Lane Johnson, Daryl Williams, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai have progressed well into the NFL coming out of the Big 12.

At 6’6 330 lbs Williams is a hulking presence at left tackle for the Longhorns and moves like the Flash. He’ll lock pass rushers up with strong hands and will power his way into the second level.

Next: 2018 NFL Mock Draft: Offense dominates early

Seattle, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and the Los Angeles Chargers could all use Williams’ services if he’s available for them in the first round. Considering his knee injury I project Williams to be drafted between 11-20 overall next April.