2018 Stampede Blue NFL Draft Guide Player Profile
Drafting Connor Williams will further the movement of youthful stability on an improving offensive line
With several quarterback-needy teams looking to trade into the top six picks for this year’s draft, the Colts need to sincerely evaluate trade-back scenarios. Should they be able to accumulate the 15th pick from Arizona or both the 12th and 22nd picks from Buffalo, the top-tier prospects they’ve been linked to all off-season will be long gone and part of different organizations.
Evaluating the middle-tier talent of the first round is a must for Indianapolis, and Chris Ballard and Co. have already mapped out the variety of directions they could go. While I do believe the Indy offensive line is in better shape than most may believe — a core hindered by injuries and inexperience — bringing tackle Connor Williams into the organization is a continuation of fortifying the trenches, improving the running game and protecting No. 12.
While I don’t think the Colts are as far away from a competent offensive line as mainstream media would like to convince their audiences, that doesn't mean the results have been pretty. Ten different offensive lineman were forced into the lineup and saw a minimum of 140 snaps. The Colts’ 1.07 rushing yards before contact was the third-lowest in the NFL, and only seven other teams across the league had more lineup combinations than Indy’s 18. With second-year linemen Ryan Kelly and Le’Raven Clark taking steps back in their second seasons, partially due to injury, the Colts need a young, reliable body to bring stability to the unit.
While I’m concerned with Williams’ ability to serve as a left tackle in the league, he’s a perfect candidate to take over the right tackle position and will allow Denzelle Good to slide into the right guard position or take a back seat as a reserve. He has an injury history that would raise some flags for a team trying to find dependable talent up front, but none were season-ending or point to long-term health issues.
For a team approaching the draft with a “quantity, not quality” mentality, trading back from pick No. 6 can’t be overlooked. If given the chance to pick in the middle of the first round, taking the tackle for the future will go a long way in steadily improving the roster.