ARLINGTON, Texas — Soon after former Texas left tackle Connor Williams and a select few of the first-round prospects Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Saquon Barkley made their appearance on the red carpet, the party moved inside to AT&T Stadium.
Darnold, Rosen and Barkley all saw their names taken off the board in the top 10 to no surprise. Most mock drafts didn’t have Williams early in the first round. But after Williams watched Notre Dame have two offensive linemen selected at No. 6 and No. 9, followed by another four offensive linemen to cap off six total at the position taken in the first round, questions began to flurry.
“I firmly believe I'm the best offensive lineman in this class,” Williams said after his workout at Texas’ NFL Pro Day on March 28.
And this wasn’t an outlandish statement. Williams has asserted his dominance every time he’s set foot on the field. But as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell approached the podium with one final pick remaining in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft on Thursday night, it was clear –– Williams had dropped out of the first round.
“With the final pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Lamar Jackson.”
Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, who dropped significantly as well, capped off the first round. Williams, who was in attendance, was forced to wait some more. But the Dallas-area native said he planned on returning for rounds two and three on Friday night.
“Was an amazing night and experience,” Williams tweeted after the first round concluded. “Never has been easy and would never want it any other way. Thank you for those following along and see you tomorrow night!”
Williams, along with his Longhorn teammates Malik Jefferson, DeShon Elliott, Holton Hill, Poona Ford, Michael Dickson and Chris Warren III, remain on the board. Round two begins with the Cleveland Browns picking first at AT&T Stadium on Friday at 6 p.m.