Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Draft Prospect Outlook:
Excellent athletic gifts. Amazing feet which almost always get him into perfect position in pass-protection. Strong grip. Can be susceptible to refined counter moves but typically has a sturdy anchor. Mean streak in the run game is noticeable, and his athleticism helps him there too. First-rounder. Could dominate at guard.
A three-star recruit out of Coppell, Texas, Williams started turning heads when he arrived on the Texas campus in January 2015, impressing in workouts for the staff of then-Texas head coach Charlie Strong. The offseason buzz turned tangible heading into the beginning of Williams’ true freshman season in 2015 as he became the first Longhorn on record to ever start a season opener at left tackle when Texas took on Notre Dame in South Bend. A Freshman All-American right out of the gate, Williams followed a campaign where he started all 12-games with a consensus All-American sophomore season. Williams, an 11-game starter in his second year was the key cog up front that helped pave the way for running back D’Onta Foreman, the 2016 Doak Walker Award winner, to rush for 2,028 yards.
A knee injury limited Williams to only four full games in 2017, which proved to be a big reason why the offense struggled in Tom Herman’s first year in Austin. Williams was on the field as Texas set season-high marks in points (56, 49 by the offense) rushing yards (406) and total yards (623) in a 56-0 win over San Jose State on Sept. 9. In his first game back from the injury, Williams set the tone with his physical play early on as Texas rushed for 233 yards in a 28-14 road upset of West Virginia on Nov. 18. A three-year starter who chose to declare early for the draft, Williams started all 28 games in which he appeared during his career, leaving Texas as one of the most decorated offensive linemen in the history of the program. - Jeff Howe, Horns247