The Miami Dolphins made a bold decision when signing former Dallas Cowboys starting guard Connor Williams to a two-year deal in the offseason.
The signing itself wasn’t a concern, but shortly after Williams arrived in Miami there was news that he would be moving to center. Williams played tackle at the University of Texas before playing guard in the NFL, and he had only a few preseason snaps at center.
Connor Williams played all 1057 regular season snaps (100 percent) for the Dolphins at C and kicked butt.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 17, 2023
In June, it was reported that the Dolphins told Williams they “really likely” would move him to center.
“I think definitely in this offense, in this scheme, playing center brings out my strengths,” Williams said at the time. “They’ve been very patient with him learning the position and learning the ins and outs with it as growing pains. I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed the transition.”
Eighteen games and 1,057 snaps later, the transition to center has been a success for both Williams and the organization. Not only did Williams play each-and-every snap for the team this season, but he closed the year with just six penalties and three sacks allowed, all coming from the center position.
While Williams ranked middle of the pack in both penalties and sacks, he graded as the fourth-best center in the NFL, according to ProFootballFocus. Additionally, Williams graded No. 3 in terms of run-blocking centers and No. 12 against the pass rush.
It’s unreasonable to think that the 25-year-old won’t improve with an entire season under his belt and Miami’s front office deserves credit for predicting a successful transition to center for Williams. After years of having a struggling offensive line, it seems like Miami has turned the page after being one of the league’s weakest offensive lines.
Miami has plenty of work to do in order to get the line where it needs to be, but the consistency of Williams, and Robert Hunt, who missed just one snap in Week 3, is a great place to start.