NFL Rumors: Patriots Hosting Potential First-Round Tackle For Pre-Draft Visit

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Texas Longhorns offensive lineman Connor Williams

Photo via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images

The New England Patriots need a new left tackle to replace Nate Solder, and several intriguing prospects should be available to them late in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

One such prospect is Texas’ Connor Williams, who, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, was at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday for a pre-draft visit with the Patriots.

Williams, a first-team All-American in 2016 who struggled during an injury-shortened 2017 campaign, has been a popular mock draft choice for the Patriots at No. 31 overall. The 20-year-old has good height and weight for a tackle (6-foot-5, 320 pounds), but some experts have speculated he could be moved inside at the NFL level. (He’s listed as a guard in NFL.com’s official prospect rankings.)

From an athletic standpoint, Williams stands out. He ranked fifth among offensive tackles at the NFL Scouting Combine with a 5.05-second 40-yard dash while also ranking first in the vertical leap, third in the broad jump and fourth in the short shuttle.

Following the Brandin Cooks trade, New England currently owns two first-round picks in this year’s draft: Nos. 23 and 31. Other tackles who could be available in that range include Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey and UCLA’s Kolton Miller.

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