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Film Room: OL Connor Williams Is Cowboys’ Final Piece To Great Run Game

After drafting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cowboys decided to sure-up their offensive line in round two. With their second pick, the Cowboys drafted home-state lineman Connor Williams with the hopes of moving him from left tackle to left guard.

The 6’5″ 291 pound offensive lineman was considered a consensus first round pick heading into 2017, before injuries plagued his final collegiate season. Williams was still able to have a good-enough 2017 season when healthy, and was certainly deserving of being a top 50 pick.

But what are the Cowboys getting in Connor Williams? Let’s take a look at the tape and examine what he can bring to Dallas.

The first thing you notice when watching Connor Williams is his demeanor. When drafting offensive linemen, you want them to be the nastiest dudes on the field. You want them to take pride in destroying their opponents will and dominating them each snap.

Connor Williams fits that bill perfectly.

2018 nfl draft connor williams

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As a pass blocker, Williams displays smooth feet, excellent balance, and overall efficiency in his pass set. Rarely did I see Williams overextend or get knocked off balance, and with his ability to re-anchor he did a nice job against bull rushers as well. According to Pro Football Focus, Williams did not give up a single sack over three seasons at Texas.

At left tackle here we see Williams remain patient with his hands before delivering a powerful punch. He then extends the pass rusher around the arc before flipping his hips and driving him upfield. Then, we see Williams’ ability to finish and dominate his opponents.

2018 nfl draft connor williams 2

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As a run blocker, Connor Williams is able to display that nastiness as well. Williams has a quick get off, smooth hips, and powerful leg drive when moving defenders off the ball. He is at his best when down blocking and washing defenders down the line of scrimmage.

Here we see Williams in one of those down blocking situations. He is able to put pressure in the defensive end’s ear-hole, and overpower him before bringing him to the ground.

Moving to guard Williams will be asked to pull more often than he did at Texas, but with his athletic ability and skill at the second level I see no reason why he can’t be effective doing so.

2018 nfl draft connor williams 4

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There are, of course, some negatives to Connor Williams’ game. While his lower body is downright text book at times, Williams does have some issues remaining consistent with his punch. This can cause him to land his hands outside, resulting in some opportunities to be called for holding. Williams could also gain some strengthen in both his lower and upper body to help him against bigger defensive tackles in the NFL.

As soon as the Cowboys drafted Williams everyone began wondering if he will be played at guard or tackle. In an ideal world, La’el Collins would stay at right tackle and Williams will kick down to left guard. Williams doesn’t have very long arms, and can struggle against speed rushers at times. But at guard, he will be an excellent fit.

Overall, I love the Cowboys selection of Connor Williams 50th overall. He should be an immediate starter at left guard for the Cowboys, and will be the final piece to making their run game great once again.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by 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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