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Name: *Connor Williams (+) Coming off 09-16-17 Knee INJ
College: Texas     Number: 55
Height: 6-5   Weight: 315
Position: OT  Pos2: OG  Class/Draft Year: Jr/2018
40 Low: 5.17
  40 Time: 5.31
   40 High: 5.45

Projected Round: 1      Stock: 
Rated number 1 out of 115 OT's     10 / 2381 TOTAL
Combine Invite: Yes
Height: 6045
Weight: 315

PD3X AKA "Official"
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Dates: 03/28/18
Hand:   Arm: 
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Height: 6045
Weight: 315

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 Data Scout Notes: 2017: 11-27-17- Announced Early Entry for 2018 NFL Draft/Skipping Bowl Game/NAC...(+) Coming off 09-16-17 Knee INJ...PMaxwell...2016: 1stC/HMC-OLOY...POutland...2015: HMC
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 Header

  Connor Williams
Texas Longhorns
Offensive Tackle
6-5, 320, 5.31, #55
Coppell, Texas
Coppell High School


 Update

  11/27/17 - Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams, one of the top-rated tackle prospects in the country, has declared for the NFL Draft and will skip the team's bowl game, he announced Monday. Williams is rated the No. 19 overall prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, with plenty of room to move up during postseason workouts. Williams missed much of this season after suffering a knee injury (torn meniscus and sprained MCL and ACL) on Sept. 16 at USC. He opted for rest and rehab, rather than surgery, and came back for the team's final two games. "My family and I have decided it is my best interest to forgo the bowl game and my senior season to begin preparing for my professional football career," Williams said in a statement. "One of the reasons I worked so hard to come back from my injury was to help the team reach its goal of playing in a bowl game, and I'm proud we were able to accomplish that."

After the Longhorns' win over West Virginia on Nov. 18, NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Dane Brugler wrote: "Williams looked flexible and smooth in his pass-sets, showing no limitations toward his rehabbed knee. He anchored well at the point of attack and flashed violence in his hands to counter and control defenders, often finishing his target to the ground. Williams also looked terrific as a run blocker, finding the hip of the edge defender on down blocks and driving his legs to create run lanes. ... "If Saturday was any indication, Williams is back on his 2016 trajectory of being an early first-round pick." Williams is rated as the second-best tackle prospect behind Oklahoma's Orlando Brown. Texas (6-4, 5-4 Big 12) awaits its bowl destination after failing to qualify for the postseason in each of the past two seasons. Williams is the latest potential high draft pick to skip a bowl game. Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and LSU running back Leonard Fournette did so last season. - The Sports Xchange


 Overview

  The Longhorns have not produced a single first-round pick on offense since Vince Young was selected No. 3 overall by Tennessee back in 2006.

But don't worry Texas fans, Williams will end that dubious streak this spring.

The Texas native was not an especially highly rated prep prospect but that did not stop him from earning the starting left tackle role in the season opener as a true freshman - a role he would only relinquish when hurt for the next three years.

He started all 12 games on the blindside in 2015, immediately boosting an offensive line that ranked 18th in the nation in rushing yards, generating just under 225 yards (224.8 to be exact) per game and ran for six touchdowns in three separate contests. Rival coaches recognized Williams impact, honoring the true freshman with honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades. So too did the media with ESPN, USA Today and the Football Writers Association of American all voting Williams a Freshman All-American.

Williams ascended in grades and honors in 2016, becoming just the fourth sophomore in the Longhorns' storied history to earn First Team All-American honors, joining Hub Bechtol (1944), Russell Erxleben (1976) and Earl Thomas (2009). Big 12 coaches saw the same, voting Williams first-team all-conference and recognizing him as the best blocker on a line that helped D'Onta Foreman win the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top runner, rumbling for an FBS-leading 184.4 rushing yards per game. Though his proficiency as a run blocker earned all kinds of attention, Williams was just as good in pass protection, showing the nimble feet, bent knee and explosive punch that project very well to the next level.

After an offseason in which the 20-year old was frequently discussed as a potential early first round pick, Williams stumbled a bit out of the gate in 2017, surrendering pressures against Maryland's athletic front in a season-opening 51-41 loss. He and the Longhorns returned with a vengeance against San Jose State (56-0) before Williams suffered a knee injury in the second quarter of the Longhorns' tough 27-24 loss to Southern Cal.

Williams would go on to miss the next seven games but returned for the final two regular season games against West Virginia and Texas Tech, helping the Longhorns win both to qualify for a bowl game. Healthy and as agile and aggressive as ever, Williams once again looked like the best left tackle in college football in those two games.

On November 27 Williams announced that he would be skipping his senior season and Texas' upcoming bowl game (Texas Bowl vs. Missouri) to completely heal and prepare for the 2018 NFL draft.

With his light feet, easy knee bend and brawlers' mentality, scouts can check a lot of boxes with Williams. The lack of top edge rushers in the Big 12 raise questions about his ability to hold up against elite NFL speed, a question exacerbated because Williams does not appear to have ideal arm length, making his measurement and medical checks at the Combine key factors in his final projection.

BACKGROUND
Played tight end as late as his junior year of high school and was not an especially highly regarded prep prospect, earning "just" three stars and ranked outside of the top 50 offensive tackles by most recruiting websites despite recording 63 pancakes and grading out at 94 percent, while only allowing one sack and committing one holding penalty as a senior... Also saw time at a nose tackle in 2014, registering 38 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, five pressures, five forced fumbles and two passes defended.


 Analysis

  STRENGTHS
Possesses a power-packed frame with excellent weight distribution throughout his upper and lower body. Very good initial quickness off the snap, firing off the ball as a run blocker to create a surge. Provides an explosive initial pop on contact, jarring opponents and showing excellent hand strength and placement to latch on, steer and sustain - qualities which could lead to a move inside to guard if his pro team desires. Williams plays with the nastiness which would fit well inside and will endear him to NFL offensive line coaches. He fights until the echo of the whistle, using his core strength to overpower opponents and ultimately pancaking them, if he feels them off-balance. Williams' initial quickness and strength also show up in pass protection. He eases off the snap calmly, sliding to his left with quick power steps which help him maintain his balance and keep him able to re-direct inside to mirror counter-moves. Williams may not possess elite arm length but his quickness allows him to keep his shoulders square to pass rushers. He shows patience and good football intelligence in pass protection, understanding angles and not panicking. Once Williams latches on, his grip and grit take over. He possesses excellent core strength and bends his knees properly to anchor against bull rushers. - Rob Rang 12/16/2017

WEAKNESSES
Williams slides well laterally but does not possess the quickness or length of elite NFL left tackles, limitations which will cause him some problems against speed rushers. He can get over-aggressive when run blocking on the move, failing to anticipate where linebackers are headed and leaving himself lunging at them or re-directing to another target. Some will have questions about Williams' grit after he missed a total of eight games over the past two seasons, including seven in 2017 for a knee injury that ultimately did not require surgery, as well as the 2016 clash with UTEP.

COMPARES TO: Hall of Famer Gary Zimmerman, Vikings/Broncos. At 6-6, 294 pounds Zimmerman was not the most imposing offensive lineman in the league during the 80s and 90s but he certainly was among the best, earning a spot on the All-Decade team while splitting his career between Minnesota and Denver. Similarly, there are nits to pick in Williams' game (and no doubt some will) but his quickness, balance and aggressive hands - all traits which stood out with Zimmerman - should make him a longtime standout, as well.

IN OUR VIEW: Williams is a bit of a throwback, showing the power and aggression as a run blocker that scouts covet along with the athleticism, balance and girth to stone pass rushers, projecting as a legitimate NFL left tackle worthy of top 10 consideration.
- Rob Rang 12/16/2017


 Career Notes

  A third-year offensive lineman who became the starting left tackle as a true freshman ... has played in and started 23 games in his career ... first team All-America (Walter Camp) in 2016 ... just the fourth sophomore in UT history to receive first-team All-America honors (Hub Bechtol, 1944; Russell Erxleben, 1976 and Earl Thomas, 2009 were the others) from one of the NCAA’s five teams that are used to recognize consensus All-Americans ... earned first team All-Big 12 honors by the Associated Press and Big 12 coaches in 2016

Named an Outland Trophy semifinalist and Preseason All-Big 12 team in 2016 ... started all 12 games and was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection in 2015 … two-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll … named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team (2015-16) ... was an early enrollee in spring 2015 … an all-state performer in high school rated the No. 38 OT nationally and No. 61 overall (No. 8 OT) in Texas by Scout.


 2017 Season

  Named Academic All-Big 12 Second Team ... played in and started five games (Maryland, San Jose State, at USC, at West Virginia, Texas Tech), but missed seven due to injury ... announced on Nov. 27 that he intends to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft ... started the season opener at left tackle against Maryland and helped guide the offense to 473 total yards, including 375 through the air ... protected true freshman QB Sam EhlingerHear how to pronounce Sam Ehlinger in his first career start as the offense did not allow a sack in a 56-0 win ... guided the Longhorns' to 623 total yards (15th school history) and 406 on the ground

Started at left tackle against No. 4/4 USC, but sustained an injury in the second quarter and missed the remainder of the game ... returned to the field for the first time since week three as he started at left tackle in a win over No. 24/25 West Virginia ... helped the offense to 233 rushing yards and 6.1 yards per play, their most this season in Big 12 play ... started at left tackle against Texas Tech ... was named to the 2017 watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Outland Trophy and The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award ... also a preseason All-American by the Associated Press, Sporting News, College Football News and Athlon Sports in 2017 ... also named to the preseason All-Big 12 Team by the media and Athlon Sports


 2016 Season

  Tabbed first-team All-America by CBS Sports, Football Writers Association, Phil Steele, Walter Camp Football Foundation and USA Today … just the fourth sophomore in UT history to receive first-team All-America honors (Hub Bechtol, 1944; Russell Erxleben, 1976 and Earl Thomas, 2009 were the others) from one of the NCAA’s five teams that are used to recognize consensus All-Americans … earned second-team All-America honors from The Associated Press, FOX Sports, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News … recognized by ESPN.com on the All-Big 12 underclassmen team ... named first team All-Big 12 at offensive tackle by the Associated Press, Phil Steele and Big 12 coaches ... also named first team All-Big 12 by ESPN.com ... earned honorable mention for Offensive Lineman of the Year ... started at left tackle in the season opener against No. 10 Notre Dame ... helped Longhorns to 517 total yards and 50 points ... the 500 yards of offense marked the first time since 2011 a Texas team has eclipsed 500 yards against a ranked opponent ... had his streak of 13 consecutive starts snapped against UTEP, a game he missed to nurse an injury ... was back on the field to start at California.

Longhorns registered a season-high 568 yards on 90 plays in the loss ... rushing attack totaled 307 yards and four touchdowns ... each running back went over 100 yards in the game ... passing attack had 261 yards and a score ... paved the way for the offense to match a season-high with 568 total yards at Oklahoma State ... Longhorns rushed for a season-best 329 ... UT had two 100-yard rushers for the second straight game for just the third time in school history ... started at left tackle in the Red River Showdown against Oklahoma ... helped the offense to 245 passing yards and 180 rushing yards ... offense scored 40 points for the fourth time in five games ... started at left tackle against Iowa State ... offense totaled 505 yards (296 pass, 209 rush) and 24 second-half points for the victory ... at Kansas State, offense recorded 344 total yards ... offense accrued 548 total yards in 35-34 win over No. 8 Baylor ... passed for 291 yards and rushed for 257 ... in a 45-37 road victory at Texas Tech, paved the way for the offense to record 658 yards, the sixth-most in a single-game in school history ... led the way to 414 rushing yards, including 341 (third-most in school history) by running back D'Onta Foreman ... helped Foreman average 10.3 yards per carry and UT to average 8.3 yards per carry as a team ... led the way for D'Onta Foreman's 11th straight 100-yard game ... offense totaled 536 yards against No. 11/10 West Virginia, breaking the school record with their seventh game of 500 yards or more ... paved the way for D'Onta Foreman's third 250-yard game on Saturday at Kansas ... helped the offense total 407 yards against TCU in the regular season finale.


 2015 Season

  Named first-team freshman All-America by the Football Writers Association of America, USA Today and ESPN.com … honorable mention All-Big 12 selection by the league’s coaches … started all 12 games at left tackle … combined with OG Patrick Vahe to make Texas the only school in the nation to start two true freshmen on the offensive line … helped block for a rushing attack that ranked 18th in the nation and third in the Big 12 with 224.8 yards per game, including 263.0 ypg in the last seven … the offense also ranked 26th in the nation in red zone efficiency (.882) … part of an offense that was just the fourth at Texas since 1950 to record three games with six rushing TDs in a season … helped the offense post a season-high 650 total yards with 364 yards passing and 286 yards rushing with six rushing TDs versus Cal … helped the offense rush for an Oklahoma opponent season-high of 313 yards and was part of a line that earned team offensive MVP honors for the game … helped the offense rush for 274 yards and three TDs against Kansas State, while allowing just one sack … helped the offense to matching 299-yard rushing and passing marks for 598 yards total with six rushing TDs against Kansas, while allowing just one sack … helped the offense post 277 rushing yards at West Virginia … helped the offense record 403 yards and six TDs on the ground versus Texas Tech, marking just the seventh 400-yard rushing game by Texas since 1980.

 High School

  Coached by Mike DeWitt at Coppell … an all-state and two-time all-district honoree … named second-team 6A All-State by the Associated Press, and honorable mention by the Texas Sports Writers Association in 2014 … tabbed honorable mention Academic All-State by the Texas High School Coaches Association … selected second-team All-Area by the Dallas Morning News … chosen first-team All-District 7-6A on both the offensive and defensive lines … ranked No. 223 overall and No. 30 overall in Texas by Rivals … rated No. 38 OT nationally and No. 61 overall (No. 8 OT) in Texas by Scout …

Rated No. 65 OT nationally and No. 98 in Texas by ESPN … ranked No. 75 OT nationally and No. 99 in Texas by 247Sports … rated No. 7 OL in the state by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football … placed No. 53 on the Fab 55 by the Austin American-Statesman … recorded 63 pancakes and graded at 94 percent, while only allowing one sack and committing one holding penalty as a senior … as a nose tackle, registered 38 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, five pressures, five forced fumbles and two passes defended … part of an offense that rushed for 4.9 yards per carry and 257.5 yards per game with 28 rushing TDs … also protected for 23 passing TDs to just three interceptions … helped Coppell to a 6-5 record and an appearance in the 6A Division 1 bidistrict playoffs in 2014 … selected second-team All-District 5-5A as a tight end in 2013 … caught three passes for 20 yards and one TD … helped Coppell to a 9-2 record, including a 5-0 district mark, and an appearance in the 5A Division 1 area playoffs in 2013 … helped Coppell to an 11-1 record, including a 5-0 district mark, and an appearance in the 5A Division 1 area playoffs in 2012.


 Personal

  Brother, Dalton, was a quarterback at Stephen F. Austin (2008-11) and Akron (2012) who passed for 3,387 yards as a graduate transfer in one season with the Zips … sister, Morgan, graduated from Texas in 2013 … participated in a cleanup project following floods in Wimberley in 2015 … two-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll (fall 2015; spring 2016).

 
 Draft Scout Player News
11/27/17 - Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams, one of the top-rated tackle prospects in the country, has declared for the NFL Draft and will skip the team's bowl game, he announced Monday. Williams is rated the No. 19 overall prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, with plenty of room to move up during postseason workouts. Williams missed much of this season after suffering a knee injury (torn meniscus and sprained MCL and ACL) on Sept. 16 at USC. He opted for rest and rehab, rather than surgery, and came back for the team's final two games. "My family and I have decided it is my best interest to forgo the bowl game and my senior season to begin preparing for my professional football career," Williams said in a statement. "One of the reasons I worked so hard to come back from my injury was to help the team reach its goal of playing in a bowl game, and I'm proud we were able to accomplish that."

After the Longhorns' win over West Virginia on Nov. 18, NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Dane Brugler wrote: "Williams looked flexible and smooth in his pass-sets, showing no limitations toward his rehabbed knee. He anchored well at the point of attack and flashed violence in his hands to counter and control defenders, often finishing his target to the ground. Williams also looked terrific as a run blocker, finding the hip of the edge defender on down blocks and driving his legs to create run lanes. ... "If Saturday was any indication, Williams is back on his 2016 trajectory of being an early first-round pick." Williams is rated as the second-best tackle prospect behind Oklahoma's Orlando Brown. Texas (6-4, 5-4 Big 12) awaits its bowl destination after failing to qualify for the postseason in each of the past two seasons. Williams is the latest potential high draft pick to skip a bowl game. Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and LSU running back Leonard Fournette did so last season. - The Sports Xchange

11/21/17 - Nov 21 Stock Report: Who helped themselves? Connor Williams, OT, Texas, JR. (6-5, 320, 5.31, #55)...For much of the season, the concern among scouts was that the offensive tackle class for the 2018 NFL Draft lacked a clear-cut No. 1 prospect. But with the return of Williams on Saturday, that narrative is changing. The Texas left tackle looked like a future early first-round pick as a sophomore in 2016, but he struggled early this season and suffered a knee injury (torn meniscus and sprained MCL and ACL) in the USC game, putting him on the shelf indefinitely. However, he opted for rest over surgery and returned to the field on Saturday against West Virginia and looked outstanding.

Williams looked flexible and smooth in his pass-sets, showing no limitations toward his rehabbed knee. He anchored well at the point of attack and flashed violence in his hands to counter and control defenders, often finishing his target to the ground. Williams also looked terrific as a run blocker, finding the hip of the edge defender on down blocks and driving his legs to create run lanes. With one regular-season game and a bowl game remaining for Texas, he has two more chances to produce positive tape. If Saturday was any indication, Williams is back on his 2016 trajectory of being an early first-round pick. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com

10/31/17 - Texas received good news this week when head coach Tom Herman revealed that junior LT Connor Williams (6-5, 320, 5.31, #55) will return soon, possibly Nov. 11 at home vs. Kansas. Williams opted against surgery for his knee injury, which he suffered against USC in mid-September, which allowed him to return this season. Based on his 2016 game film, Williams received first-round projections from scouts, but he struggled in the season opener against Maryland and hasn't played the past six weeks. And with the 2018 class of offensive tackles not containing a certain top-20 draft pick, NFL scouts are eager to see Williams healthy and back on the field. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
10/09/17 - OT Connor Williams, who suffered a left knee injury late in the first half against USC, is a week from a real evaluation on the rehab of his sprained MCL, a torn meniscus and sprained PCL. It still appears that Williams could return at some point during conference play if his recovery goes well. There is a debate whether coming back at less than 100 percent would hurt his draft stock, but right now Texas just needs healthy and experienced bodies in the line.
10/02/17 - OT Connor Williams, rated the No. 1 offensive tackle prospect for the 2018 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com, will not undergo surgery for a knee injury, coach Tom Herman said Monday. Williams suffered an MCL injury at USC on Sept. 16 and did not play in last week's game against Iowa State after a bye. Herman said the left tackle will be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks, with a chance to return this season. "Hopefully this conservative approach going without surgery will heal him up the best in the long term," Herman said, per the Dallas Morning News. "(Hopefully) it allows him to get back into uniform here before season's end."

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