Widely regarded as the top offensive tackle in the 2018 class, Connor Williams possesses all the traits of a future starter in the NFL.
Connor Williams entered the 2017 season as one of the top offensive linemen in college football. He didn’t arrive in Austin as a highly touted recruit, ranking as the No. 38 offensive tackle prospect. Despite the lack of attention, Williams won the starting left tackle spot as a true freshman and never looked back. After a successful sophomore campaign that saw him awarded a 2nd team All-American bid, he seemed primed for an encore during his junior season.
While expectations were high, three games into this season Williams suffered a knee injury that would sideline him for seven weeks. While he returned and made a significant impact, the injury appeared to slow his step and will be something teams monitor throughout the pre-draft process. He opted to sit during the Texas Bowl and seems to be focused on solidifying his stock as a potential first-round pick.
Position: Offensive Tackle
Weight: 315 lbs
Despite his size, Williams is an athlete who has demonstrated tremendous flexibility and has excelled in both the running game and pass protection. As a run blocker, Williams shows a sound understanding of angles and knows where to position himself. He is a mauling blocker who plays with a tenacious mean streak and doesn’t stop at the whistle (as evidenced by the video below). As a pass protector, Williams shows a unique blend of flexibility, bend, and balance. He gets in position with ease and has strong hands to lock on to defenders. Anchors well, rarely getting pushed off his stance.
He’s also very intelligent, as evidenced by his 3.67 GPA at Texas. He seemingly understands multiple blocking schemes and should transition quickly to the NFL level.
There aren’t many weaknesses to Williams’ game. The first thing people will highlight is the recent injury history. While he managed to bypass surgery on his injured MCL and returned in a November win against West Virginia, the injury will likely be something to monitor as he trains for the combine. Williams’ has shown a tendency to become over-aggressive in the run game. While it certainly doesn’t appear to be a long-term or serious issue, it is a rough edge that he can smooth out before the draft.
There are a couple of words that can be used to describe Connor Williams: Easy and effortless. Throughout his collegiate career, Williams has made his responsibilities as a starting left tackle appear easy and effortless. He has the talent and traits to be a day one starter in the NFL. He is one of the top offensive linemen in this class and may likely be one of the first tackles taken in the 2018 NFL Draft. A team looking for someone to take over the left side of their O-line would be wise to target him. He projects to be drafted somewhere in the first 20 picks.