Updated Nov. 3, 2017
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
A few weeks ago, WalterFootball.com reported that Clemson left tackle Mitch Hyatt had disappointed scouts with his play this season and was receiving mid-round grades from area scouts. Hyatt isn't alone in the disappointment category, as the larger 2018 offensive tackle class has underwhelmed this season. Washington's Trey Adams went down with a season-ending injury and is likely to return to school rather than enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Another preseason first-rounder who has disappointed is Texas' Connor Williams. Williams was struggling before his injury, and like Hyatt, sources from multiple teams said they gave Williams a mid-round grade.
The main issue that sources say is hurting Williams (6-6, 290) is a lack of strength. One AFC team in need of tackle help said they had put a late third-round, early fourth-round grade on Williams. A NFC general manager said they thought Williams was a fourth-rounder after watching him in person early in the year. That general manager said Williams was overhyped and clearly needs to spend a lot of time in the weight room for the NFL. Against USC, Williams tore a knee meniscus and strained some other ligaments. He hasn't played since September 16th, but is supposedly getting close to returning to the field.
Team sources and those around the Texas program say that Williams is hoping to return to the field and produce some good tape during this season. He knows that his tape from early in the year wasn't impressive, and he wants to try to generate some positive buzz before the season ends. If Williams does that, sources say he would be inclined toward entering the 2018 NFL Draft. If he re-injures the knee or plays poorly, Williams will probably return to Texas next season. A lot hangs in the balance for Williams in the final weeks of the season, and he needs some big games to change the grades he's received from NFL teams this fall.