Wednesday, April 17, 2024

ESPN Draft Insider Compares Caleb Williams To All-Time Great


The Chicago Bears have a tough decision to make. Keep Justin Fields or take a quarterback at #1 overall. Almost everybody believes GM Ryan Poles is planning the latter. He’s seen Fields for two years now. While he loves the person and the leader, he has to ask a tricky question. Can Fields beat somebody like Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl? The harsh answer is no. Fields failed that test last season 41-10. Until the Bears find a genuine top 5 quarterback, nothing else matters. Maybe Caleb Williams will be that guy.

He is the heavy favorite to go #1 this April. Ian Rapoport already said the Bears see him as somebody who could be special. How true that is remains to be seen. Either way, almost every mock draft involves him going to that spot, usually to Chicago. So, who might they be getting if this is the case? ESPN draft insider Matt Miller revealed his list of 16 players he believes have a true 1st round grade. The best of the best. He also assigned each of them an NFL player comparison.

Get ready for a shocker with Williams.

“Caleb Williams, USC (No. 1)

Comp: Aaron Rodgers

The top overall player in the 2024 draft class, Williams combines excellent arm strength, mobility and field vision with a knack for making creative plays when defenses close in on the pocket. At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, he is responsible for 93 touchdowns over the past two seasons at USC (72 passing, 21 rushing).

Sure, he will need to clean up the fumbles (eight in 2023) and get the ball out faster (3.14 seconds to throw on average), but the NFL-style playmaking and jaw-dropping passing ability has scouts calling him a rare prospect. What he’s able to do on second-effort plays is impressive, and Williams would have been my top-rated quarterback in each of the past five draft classes. He looks like a lock to go No. 1 right now.”

Caleb Williams being another Aaron Rodgers would be poetic.

Of course, expecting him to become that great is unfair. Nobody expected Rodgers to reach those heights. Still, this is a good reminder of how talented Williams is. He has the capability to go as high as he wants in the NFL. The funny part is I did a scouting report on him a couple of weeks ago. My comparison at the time was “Brett Rodgers.” In other words, he was a mix of both Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. He has elements of Favre’s natural improvisation mixed with Rodgers’ quick release and accuracy. There are also concerns he has Favre’s carelessness with the football and Rodgers’ diva mentality.

It would be most welcome if Caleb Williams is indeed that good. Whether the Bears can get it out of him is the big question. They have a long track record of instability on the offensive side of the ball, both in personnel and coaching. Hopes are high that Shane Waldron is equipped enough to handle the job. Poles has put solid pieces like D.J. Moore, Darnell Wright, and Braxton Jones in place. More will be added alongside Williams if he’s the pick. As Bears quarterbacks go, he’d have a far better situation around him than previous 1st round picks.

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Feb 23, 2024 8:12 pm

Scott brs… for a guy who LOVES him some Fields, u calling out literally any other QB for fumbling is laughable. And yes, Fields indeed cannot make basic reads, that’s exactly why he’s being traded.

Feb 22, 2024 11:08 pm

@Sam K I don’t hate Caleb Williams as much as I think the people are coming down on a Fields or Williams side, and the “other” side has to be brought down to justify support. I liked Williams, but he was better last year than this. Defenses were better and he’s still a Lincoln Riley product (which means USC’s defense didn’t help at all). But it also means he has similar qualities and training that other Riley QBs have. Will he be good? Yes, but what surprised me was that you mentioned his “holding the ball,” as somewhat a product… Read more »

Feb 22, 2024 10:42 pm

I wonder if he’s vaccinated or “in ovulated?”

Feb 22, 2024 10:34 pm

@Slip Knotz With Rattler, you could justify him as just another Lincoln Riley guy (and they’re mostly all decent), a QB that actually put up nearly identical stats at OU as Caleb Williams did on the same team, a QB who (unlike all the other L.R. QB’s) has actually spent a couple years in a different system, a QB who looked better than Penix and Nix at the Senior Bowl, and my personal favorite is that he would cost no more than a 3rd or 4th rounder unless someone overdrafts him.

Feb 22, 2024 8:54 pm

@Slip Knotz – regarding Rattler, I see toughness and killer instinct. Yes, he needs development. But value-wise, I like his prospects better than a top 3 QB in this draft vis-a-vis where he’s likely to be taken (Early day 3).

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