CONNOR WILLIAMS | OT | TEXAS
Height: 6051 | Weight: 296 | Arms: 33" | Hands: 10 1/2" | 40 Time: 5.05 | 10-Split: 1.72 | Bench: 26 | 3Cone: 7.83 | Broad: 112" | Vertical: 34"
Connor Williams is a third-year Junior from Coppell High School (TX) who started 28 of 29 games at Left Tackle and was elected a Team Captain in 2017. Williams boasts a 3.67 GPA majoring in Finance in Texas' prestigious McCombs School of Business and is a two-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll in 2015 and 2016 and member of the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team. Williams is very active in the community and participated in a cleanup project following floods in Wimberley, Texas in 2015. Williams' brother, Dalton, was a collegiate QB at Stephen F. Austin and currently works as a Grad Assistant under Dana Holgersen at West Virginia. A consensus First-Team All-American in 2016, Williams suffered a meniscus tear, PCL and MCL sprain in his left knee after getting rolled up on against USC and ardently rehabbed to be able to return to his team before the end of the 2017 season. Williams' impact on the offense can best be illustrated by the total offensive production dropping from 5.4 to 4.9 yards/play this season in his 7-game absence. Williams is not expected to have suffered any significant ligament damage that may adversely impact his career and was a full participant in Indianapolis, posting terrific athletic scores at the Combine.
Williams has a prototype NFL Left Tackle body and has steadily gained weight since entering campus at 265 pounds. Aesthetically, Williams is a long player with an athletic build, good weight distribution, and very good wingspan. Williams possesses great back flexibility which allows him to absorb power rushers and recoil their momentum back against them like a cobra. Williams is a coordinated athlete with outstanding agility in close quarters and is a fluid knee-bender, keeping his base low to the ground and chest forward. Williams possesses impressive power in his quads and base which he uses to routinely drive players back in the run game. While Williams weighed in sub-300 pounds at the Combine, he has played as high as 320, although he has stated that he prefers to be around the 300lb mark.
As a pass blocker, Williams use his athletic ability and outstanding lateral quickness to mirror rushers in pass protection and he possesses the foot speed and dexterity to recover and make up ground on wide arcs by perimeter rushers. Williams flashes special kick slide ability off the snap and does a good job of calculating a rusher's steps and countering to use their momentum against them and drive them into the ground. Williams shows good discipline in his pass protection technique and pairs great hand placement with a very good internal clock to disengage at just the right time to limit holding penalties. Williams will occasionally punch prematurely, causing him to over-extend and loses his center of gravity and force him off balance. Williams also has a tendency to become predictable with his hand placement, allowing defenders to swipe away his hands and win with an inside Rip move. Williams is an adept cut blocker who times his launch point well and gets down in a hurry, despite not always making clean contact with his target. Williams is inconsistent with his ability to anchor and may have difficulty against Bull rushers from bigger, more powerful NFL defensive linemen. Williams gets into trouble when his legs stop moving and his feet get too close together in his pass sets, causing him to lose momentum and leverage in his individual battles. Williams showcases outstanding football IQ and rarely succumbs to mental false start penalties. Williams also does an exceptional job of blocking through the whistle, but disengaging at just the right moment to not only solicit a holding penalty, but occasionally frustrating and goading defenders into retaliation. Williams' 1 sack allowed 2017 came in a loss against Maryland and could be interpreted as a poor decision by the QB to not step up into the pocket. Williams is extremely stout at the POA and does a terrific job of maintaining upfield control and creating creases when he can generate momentum. When engaged, Williams wins with feverish leg drive and seldom gets walked back on designed run plays. Williams shows great willingness to matriculate into the second level and smaller linebackers and safeties don't stand a chance when Williams can engage in space. Williams possesses great hand strength and wins by clamping his vice grips inside the rusher's shoulder and extending his long arms to shepherd them in the direction their inertia is taking them. Williams is a proficient run blocker who can consistently create a seal for his runner and was a huge factor in Heisman Finalist D'Onta Foreman's productive 2016 season when rushed his way to 2,028 yards and the Doak Walker Award. Williams is a rude dude and showcases outstanding intensity and burying defenders into ground in 1v1 situations. Similar to Cam Robinson last year, Williams needs to add more upper body strength to become more dominant against NFL power rushers, but his established ability to add strength and weight during his three year at Texas should be encouraging to prospective teams.
When Connor Williams declared for the 2018 NFL Draft on December 21st, he authored a thank you letter to a bully that intimidated him throughout his childhood for a speech impediment. In this letter, Williams admitted that this experience served as the impetus for him to hit the weights and become a football player. Come September, the recalcitrant Williams will be the one bullying NFL linemen in the trenches. The former Rivals 4-star recruit earned a starting spot for the Longhorns the second he stepped foot on the 40 Acres and has worked tirelessly in the weight room to bulk up from 265 lbs to his current 320. While Williams can stand to augment his functional strength going to the next level, his athleticism and foot quickness were certainly not compromised by the weight gain. Williams is a natural at the Left Tackle position and turns 1v1 match ups in space into an elegant waltz; and Williams is always the lead. Williams' cerebral disposition and academic prowess off-the-field translates to the gridiron, and his evaluation of tape is evident in his play. Williams is calculated with his footwork, urgent in his kick slide, and reliable on an island. Perhaps most importantly, his positive body language on the sideline while he missed several games to injury this season and his engagement coaching up teammates on the sideline after negative plays is behavior that is certainly not going to go unnoticed by scouts. While some scouts may sour on the fact that Williams chose not to play in his Bowl game, the fact that he chose to return to his team to play this year over having surgery and preparing for the draft is a decision that should reflect positively. While Williams can show more consistency against Power rushers, his issues with technique when anchoring are corrigible and his upper body strength can be rectified with an NFL-caliber strength support staff at the next level. Williams would best be served as a Left Tackle in a Zone Blocking Scheme at the next level where he can lean on his athleticism to suffocate space and spring big runs into the second level. When you think Connor Williams, think Jake Matthews - a talent who warranted a 6th overall selection in the 2014 Draft. If not for his knee injury throwing a dagger into his 2017 season, Williams may have been considered a Top 10 selection in a weak offensive tackle class come April, but durability concerns may push him down to the second half of round one.
Overall Grade: 82
Athletic Ability: 6
Play Strength: 5
Play Speed: 6
Competitive Toughness: 6
Kick Slide: 5
Pulling Ability: 4
In Space: 4
Leg Drive: 4
Hand Usage/Technique: 3
Penalty Prone: 5
Mean Streak: 5
Player Comparison: Jake Matthews
Projected Round: Late Round 1
For information on our grading criteria, click here.