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2018 Draft Class Season Review: OL Connor Williams

Unlike their pick of the 2018 , selection was not exactly a fan favorite throughout his rookie campaign.

Though he was celebrated by on draft day, Williams' inconsistent play early in the season, and the success of the when he was out with , left many of those same fans wondering if he was destined to be labeled a bust.

When selected, Connor Williams was instantly slotted as the starting left . Dallas struggled to replace former starter during the , making the position a priority within their first two picks the following Spring.

Moving inside from was more of a struggle than fans anticipated, however, as there was a clear learning curve for Williams early on. Especially when it came to his play strength.

Too often he was bullied by bigger defensive tackles on bull rushes, getting pushed back into 's lap. To compensate for his lack of play strength and anchor, Williams would sometimes get too aggressive in his pass set. This got him off balance, leaning too far over his hips, and allowing defensive tackles to quickly rip or swim by him. When he got beat this way, it looked embarrassing and was easy for any fan watching to identify, leading to him becoming a punching bag for fans on .

By the end of the season, however, Connor Williams found his rhythm, and played the best football of his rookie year. During the two playoff games Williams was very impressive, especially against the tough competition he was facing. Sure he had help, but Williams was able to hold his own against the likes of and during the postseason.

With a full ahead of him, there is a lot of reason for optimism around Connor Williams. He should be able to add strength in the coming months, while hopefully maintaining his athleticism and movement skills. Williams is excellent at moving laterally and getting to the second level to cut off linebackers, skills which became increasingly necessary when Dallas went back to their zone blocking scheme primarily.

Connor Williams is far from a bust. In fact, he has a chance to be a really good starter for the Cowboys moving forward. I'm excited to see how he looks during his sophomore season in 2019.

Kevin Brady
Kevin Brady
Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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