That is precisely the scenario with UNC's Williams, who missed the final four games of his senior season with a torn labrum which required surgery but still managed to earn honorable mention accolades from league coaches.
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 finished 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.
Blessed with great size and athleticism, Williams' injury may keep him from garnering the attention of other talented offensive tackles in the 2013 draft class from media but rest assured that NFL scouts know his name well and will be keeping close tabs on his recovery.
WEAKNESSES: Better prospect than football player, at this time. Too often turns his head towards his target, tipping off the defense as to where he is heading (and therefore the direction of the play). Shows at least moderate quickness in getting to the second level but only average agility when adjusting to moving targets. Allows his hands to get outside of the numbers, which will draw flags for holding at the next level. Only has a season and a half of starting experience and while he possesses significant upside, remains a bit raw.
Compares to: Winston Justice, OT, Indianapolis Colts -- Like Justice (selected No. 39 overall in 2006 by Philadelphia), Williams has the length and athleticism to warrant early round consideration. He must improve in the "little things" that can be the difference between starting in the NFL and operating as a backup but has the traits teams are looking for which could, with further development and health, could result in a starting role.