2024 Bears Draft Prospect Target: Caleb Williams
Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

2024 Bears Draft Prospect Target: Caleb Williams

by - Senior Writer -

Arguably, the worst-kept secret in NFL history has finally been answered, as the Chicago Bears have indeed traded Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the process, the Bears need a starting quarterback, and with the first pick in the 2024 overall draft, they will be going quarterback.

While there are three options to take when it comes to Chicago in Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, and Caleb Williams, one guy appears to be head over heels above everyone else, which is Williams. Say what you want about Williams, his attitude, ego, and all that comes with him. The bottom line is this dude can play, and if the Bears draft him, they are getting an amazing QB and one who could be the face of the franchise for the next decade plus.

Going away from Fields is going to be a massive change, but when you look at the offense that Shane Waldron and Matt Eberflus are building, you can see why they made this decision. The personnel they have acquired from the top down fit the strength of Williams, and barring a massive screw-up, the Bears have their man at No.1.

Williams may be a bit undersized at 6-1 and 215 pounds, but he makes up for that with his play. Sure, there are times when you would like him to be more controlled, but why fix what isn't broken at this point? In his three years as a starter, Williams was lights out as he completed 66.6% of his passes for 10,082 yards passing. To go with that, Williams had 93 passing TDs to just 14 interceptions while also using his legs to rack up double-digit scores.

Although his 2023 season wasn't as good as his Heisman season, most quarterbacks would kill to have the season he had. He still finished with 3633 yards passing, 30 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Compare that to the season prior, when he had 4537 yards, 42 touchdowns, and five interceptions, and you can see the type of player the Bears are hoping to get, while many expect him to be that type of quarterback.

Despite many scouts comparing Williams Patrick Mahomes to Murray, I am not willing to go that far, as he is the best of the best right now. I compare him to both Kyler Murray and Justin Herbert mainly because he is smaller like Murray but has the cannon arm talent that Herbert possesses.

Williams’ play is highlighted by rare escapability paired with the talent to exploit defenses once the play breaks down. He can be a high-impact playmaker on the go or an effective pocket passer when he trusts his eyes on second and third reads. Fields struggled with that, so any improvement in that area would be a win for this team.

Williams has a cannon for an arm and isn't afraid to show it off. He has the pinpoint accuracy you love to see from a starting QB and can make some of the most challenging throws look routine. While he made more mistakes this past season than last, his red zone awareness is second to none as he has a 45:1 TD to INT ratio in the red zone from 2022. That is an area the Bears have struggled with for the better part of three seasons, so Williams would be able to come in and instantly change that.

While he seems like a home run pick for the top spot, there are many concerns that he must quickly address. For one, when he faced good defenses, Williams had a tendency to panic, which forced him to play more erratically than usual. Making something happen out of nothing is part of his game, but he took that to a whole new level when pressured.

Williams has also struggled with deep ball accuracy, despite signs of improvement last season. Knowing what Keenan Allen and DJ Moore are capable of, Williams needs to be more accurate on his deep throws, or their talent level will go to waste. Most importantly, Williams seems a bit immature at this point in his career, which comes with added drama and baggage.

If the Bears can deal with that, it won't be an issue, but if it persists long-term, it will be a cause for concern. No one will sit here and proclaim him the next Tom Brady or Mahomes, but when everyone says he is the best college quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, you tend to listen.

Williams is tremendously talented but often bites off too much responsibility and plays off schedule. He has an excellent chance to hit new heights with a surrounding cast he trusts, but greater self-discipline and a well-structured offense might be needed to help him become a quarterback who can elevate a franchise to championship contention. If he can get out of that hero ball mentality and trust the players around him, the Bears have a good one who will make them legitimate Superbowl contenders within three seasons.

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