2. Connor Williams, Texas, OT
PFF Big Board 2018: No. 15
NFL.com’s Prospect Grade: 5.87 (Chance to become NFL starter)
Projected as a first-round draft pick in the NFL draft 2018, the 6-foot-6, 315-pound offensive tackle Connor Williams possesses all the characteristics you look for in a franchise NFL lineman.
His best season came in 2016 when he earned top grades by PFF in pass block and run block before a knee injury forced him to miss a large chunk of his junior season. Per Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated reported Williams suffered a meniscus tear which forced him to undergo arthroscopic surgery.
As a result, his 2017 season has put a bit of a damper on his NFL abilities as an offensive tackle.
For example, NFL analyst Lance Zierlein points out some new weaknesses Williams developed post-knee surgery:
"Williams seemed to lose some lateral quickness and had troubles holding up at a high level in protection. A move to guard or center is a possibility depending on how his arm length measures out. Williams is a plus run blocker with plug-and-play technique across the board. If he regains his 2016 form, he will be a good NFL starter. If not, he’ll be an average NFL starter."
Williams is no stranger to proving himself either. The Texas native began his college football career as a three-star recruit who ended up starting all 12 games his freshman season.
He placed atop all offensive lineman in the vertical jump at the NFL combine with 34 inches.
If Williams can return to his 2016 form where he was scouted as the top NFL offensive lineman prospect, he can become an immediate starter, especially for a Ravens team starving for some Joe Flacco protection.