Williams returned to play in the final couple of games of 2017 before shutting it down to prepare for the 2018 NFL Draft, skipping his bowl game. He missed seven games of the 2017 season. Midway through the first half against USC, he went down with a torn knee meniscus and strained ligaments.
As we reported in the Hot Press
, Williams was receiving some mid-round grades from evaluators during the season. Some teams have Williams higher, while others really dislike his game. The main issue that sources said was hurting Williams is a lack of strength. One AFC team in need of tackle help said they gave him a late third-round, early fourth-round grade. Another said they gave him a fourth-rounder and could easily have graded him in the fifth round.
I spoke with a NFC general manager who scouted Williams in person this season, and they were disappointed in Williams overall. They felt Williams lacked strength and thought him overhyped. This NFC general manager said they thought Williams was a fourth-rounder. Williams had a disappointing season opener against Maryland, getting flagged for numerous holds, including some that canceled out big plays for his team. He allowed some pressures and hits, too. Williams has some athletic ability, and some evaluators feel he should move inside to guard.
Williams broke into the starting lineup at left tackle as a freshman for the Longhorns in 2015 and locked down the position. He improved as a sophomore as he was a steady pass protector and consistent run blocker. Williams has good length, quickness and athleticism. He needed to add more power, and he is supposedly up to 315 pounds entering the 2017 season. Scouting sources say that at this point, they see Williams as a first-round offensive tackle.
In pass protection, Williams is a good athlete with quickness on the edge. He has length with long arms and height to make it hard for edge rushers to get around him. Williams has quick feet, balance, and gets depth in his kick slide to neutralize edge rushers. Even though Williams wasn't overly powerful last year, he showed a nice ability to sustain his blocks in pass protection.
As a run blocker, Williams is excellent at using his quickness to fire to the second level to hit blocks to spring his running back for some long runs. Williams uses his athleticism to hit blocks in space and is superb at hitting blocks on linebackers to create lanes for the ball-carrier.
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