Wednesday, May 22, 2024

ESPN Predicts Caleb Williams Won’t Break But Shatter Bears Rookie Records


The Chicago Bears are hoping to reach uncharted waters at the quarterback position. They made Caleb Williams their first #1 overall pick since the 1940s. It is also the first time they’ve ever gotten the first quarterback in a class. Many experts believe he’s one of the two or three best prospects to come out of college in the past 25 years. On top of all that, GM Ryan Poles has put him into an excellent situation surrounded by two elite wide receivers, a solid tight end, and a stable offensive line. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to have high expectations for Williams going into this season.

ESPN sure does. Mike Clay ran projections for every rookie quarterback and their stats in 2024. Williams was expected to lead the pack in yards and touchdowns. In doing so, he will also obliterate both Bears franchise rookie records.

1. Caleb Williams, Chicago Bears: 3,532 yards, 23 TDs (15 starts)

2. J.J. McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings: 3,527 yards, 19 TDs (14 starts)

3. Jayden Daniels, Washington Commanders: 3,457 yards, 16 TDs (15 starts)

4. Drake Maye, New England Patriots: 3,378 yards, 17 TDs (15 starts)

5. Bo Nix, Denver Broncos: 3,165 yards, 16 TDs (14 starts)

Mitch Trubisky holds the yardage mark with 2,197 set in 2017. Charlie O’Rourke has clung to the touchdown record with 11 dating all the way back in 1942. Unless Williams gets hurt or completely loses track of who he is as a quarterback, both marks should fall.

Caleb Williams doesn’t need to be Superman.

This is not the situation he dealt with at USC, where his receivers, offensive line, and defense were all terrible. Chicago has a good team around him. He will be allowed to play a more conventional style of football. Get the ball to the playmakers, protect yourself, and don’t be afraid to lean on the defense. Only put on the cape when the situation demands it. This is what the Bears are hoping for. Justin Fields leaned too much on his legs and big arm. While it led to some outstanding highlights, it also led to turnovers and an excessive amount of hits.

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Those projected numbers would be outstanding for Caleb Williams. They might not be flashy, but they’re better than the vast majority of quarterbacks of this franchise have managed. It will depend on how he does protecting the football. Keeping the turnovers to a minimum is paramount. Rookies often struggle to do that. Fields and Trubisky found that out the hard way. Williams is about to show everybody whether he can handle the speed and complexity of this level.


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May 22, 2024 5:23 pm

I’ll be anyone’s bookie who believes all 5 rookie QBs will throw for over 3k yards each. What a joke!

May 22, 2024 4:11 pm

Curb your expectations. It’s OK if Williams needs to develop a little as an NFL starter. Patience.

May 22, 2024 3:37 pm

23? That seems awful low for 3500+ yards.No? Not sure what Vegas says, but 23 almost seems like a floor to me.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
May 22, 2024 12:34 pm

All of this is fine and good. But here is just a little thing: he cannot be afraid or opposed to throwing the ball away for an incompletion when necessary given game situations. That will keep him healthier, in control, showing judgment and patience, and exuding confidence.

May 22, 2024 5:00 am

Said it before, and I will say it again; 4278 yds, 32 TDs, this year and make the playoffs!

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