MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 13: Brennan Williams #73 of the North Carolina Tar Heels defends against Eddie Johnson #44 of the Miami Hurricanes on October 13, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Tar Heels defeated the Hurricanes 18-14. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
UNC offensive tackle Brennan Williams is a raw player who missed the final four games in 2012 after suffering a torn labrum. Despite the missed time, he was an all-conference selection by ACC coaches.
At 6-6, 318 pounds, Williams has great length. He’s perhaps a bit leaner than you’d like in your right tackle, but he has a frame that could easily add 10 pounds. Williams is an athletic player with quick feet; he gets into his pass drop quickly and he explodes off of the ball in the running game.
Williams often used his athleticism to make up for poor technique at UNC. He started only 22 games at UNC, so he’s still learning the fundamentals of the offensive tackle position. Despite possessing good strength, Williams often gets blown back in pass protection because he doesn’t maintain a good base. He really needs to work on using better positioning in all aspects of his game, because at times he “wastes” his athleticism. Those inefficiencies will be exploited in the NFL.
Williams is still a quality player in space; he gets out of his stance with ease, can play at the second level, and excels on screens. Most analysts argue that Williams can’t play left tackle in the NFL. Because he’s so raw, I agree that he should start on the right side in the pros, but I also think he has the potential to play left tackle. He’s athletic with good length and a very high ceiling, so teams shouldn’t place limitations on Williams’ potential.
NFL Comparison: Gosder Cherilus
Another right tackle in the NFL, Cherilus possesses a long, lean frame (6-7, 315 pounds) just like Williams. Cherilus came into the league more polished in pass protection, but Williams is perhaps a superior run blocker.
Williams will probably get selected in either the second or third round. That’s about where he should go based on his upside and his torn labrum, although he might fall too far because of his injury. Williams would be excellent value in the third round when teams are seeking upside over safety.
Fit In Dallas
Williams would fit nicely in Dallas, especially if the team is looking for an athletic replacement for Doug Free. Williams would likely start immediately for the Cowboys, but the ‘Boys would probably need to jump on him in the second to ensure he comes to Dallas.
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Jonathan Bales is the founder of The DC Times. He writes for DallasCowboys.com and the New York Times. He's also the author of Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft.