North Carolina starting offensive tackle Brennan Williams will miss the remainder of his senior season after surgery Thursday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, team spokesman Kevin Best announced. Williams hasn't played at 100% for much of the season and further injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter against Duke last Saturday.
Williams currently ranks as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2 senior offensive tackle and 38th prospect overall. At 6-7, 310 pounds, Williams has surprisingly light feet for his size with the length and frame to start on the right side in the NFL. He hadn't played with the same aggressiveness or consistent mean streak as of late, but the shoulder issue looks to be the culprit. In his latest mock draft, Rob Rang had the Tar Heels senior tackle slotted to the San Francisco 49ers in the late first round.
In last Saturday's loss to Duke, Williams played the first three quarters, but left the field a minute into the fourth quarter, clutching his left arm. Senior starting right guard Travis Bond moved over to tackle for the final quarter against the Blue Devils and is expected to man the right tackle position for the remainder of the season. Bond is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 7 ranked senior offensive guard for the 2013 NFL Draft.
Williams became a full-time starter last season as a junior in Chapel Hill and started the first eight games of the 2012 campaign. He will finish his collegiate career with 22 career starts, all coming at right tackle. Williams' father, Brent, had an 11-year NFL career (1986-1993) at defensive end, spending time with the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and New York Jets.
Normally the recovery time from labrum surgery is anywhere from two-to-six months depending on the severity of the tear, which could potentially keep Williams out of some pre-draft workouts. Hopefully that is not the case, however, and he will be able to showcase his skills at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine three months from now.