Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Seems Caleb Williams’ Best Friend Might Be Better Than Expected

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Most of the Chicago Bears’ undrafted free agent additions were at positions where they needed some extra depth and maybe competition. After adding Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze in the off-season, wide receiver didn’t look like a spot that needed much attention. Still, they secured Nevada pass catcher John Jackson III to a late deal before rookie minicamps. It was a minor surprise. Jackson didn’t have an overly productive year in 2023, though it was the best of his college career. Why the interest? The simplest explanation is he happened to be Caleb Williams‘ best friend.

The two connected when the quarterback transferred to USC and immediately hit it off. Their bond was tight. However, Jackson struggled to get playing time in a crowded wide receiver room, so he transferred to Nevada. He caught 35 passes for 267 yards there. He has good size at 6’1, 210 lbs, and adequate speed. His father played four years in the NFL, including one with the Bears in 1996. Most people likely shrugged off the addition as one meant to keep Williams happy.

However, recent updates suggest Jackson may have more to offer than first believed.

Caleb Williams probably knew what Jackson had to offer.

It’s not like the kid didn’t have talent. He was a three-star recruit in high school and went to USC for a reason. Sometimes, the problem isn’t that a guy can’t play. It is that he never got the opportunity he needed. The Bears lost nothing by giving him a tryout. He ran with it and earned a roster spot. Now there he is making some nice catches against the team’s #1 defense. That was Tyrique Stevenson in coverage, if you hadn’t noticed. It is too early to make declarations, but clearly, Jackson isn’t wasting his chance.

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What makes his prospects even stronger is he had a reputation in college as a strong special teams player. If he is going to beat the odds and make the roster, it will be with his play in the third phase. Those assessments won’t come until training camp begins. Jackson’s moment of truth will be the preseason. Just one big play on special teams could land him on the roster. There is no doubt he has the full support of Caleb Williams. It will be fun to see how his story evolves.

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David
Jun 1, 2024 11:11 pm

I don’t know…..35 catches for only 267 yards at Nevada? That’s 7.6 per reception. That’s equivalent to having only 760 yards on 100 receptions. That’s not good production no matter how you look at it and that was in college. He better be a dynamo as a special team’s player to even make the practice squad.

Dr. Steven Sallie
Dr. Steven Sallie
Jun 1, 2024 5:23 pm

Was he really a good special teams’ player? Doing what? How many plays? Who could he beat out? Taxi squad?

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