Former Texas left tackle Connor Williams and linebacker Malik Jefferson could be teammates in the NFL as well, with both players projected to go to the Cincinnati Bengals in the latest mock draft from SB Nation’s Dan Kadar.
Kadar has the Bengals taking Williams No. 12 overall, a popular projection for one of the best linemen in the draft. Jefferson is projected to Cincinnati in the second round with the No. 46 overall pick.
The Bengals have a major need on the offensive line after giving up 40 sacks last season, tied for 13th in the league. Andy Dalton frequently faced pressure, and it affected his performance as a passer. On defense, Cincinnati could use a tackling machine like Jefferson after ranking 30th in the league in rushing defense in 2017.
Williams is expected to become the first Longhorn taken in the first round since defensive tackle Malcom Brown in 2015. He was a consensus first-team All-American in 2016. A knee injury limited him to just five games in 2017. Whenever he was not on the field, the Texas pass protection suffered in a major way.
Jefferson was the Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team All-American in 2017. He led the Longhorns with 110 tackles and also recorded 10 tackles for loss and 4 sacks.
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