Recent report questions Caleb Williams’ intangibles ahead of NFL Draft
Trevor Ruszkowski - USA Today Sports

Recent report questions Caleb Williams’ intangibles ahead of NFL Draft

by - Correspondent -

By this point, it would be one of the biggest surprises in sports history if the Chicago Bears did not draft quarterback Caleb Williams out of USC with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. The Heisman winner in 2022 put up over 4,500 passing yards that season and over 3,600 in his final season last year. However, a recent report puts into question the intangibles of Williams and how NFL scouts view him.

The report is from The Athletic, which polled eight NFL scouts. The scouts were asked to rank the top six quarterback prospects in this year’s draft —Williams, Jayden Daniels from LSU, Drake Maye from UNC, J.J. McCarthy from Michigan, Michael Penix Jr. from Washington, and Bo Nix from Oregon — in terms of their intangibles.

On average, Williams came in last out of these six quarterbacks; McCarthy was first, Daniels was second, Maye was third, Penix Jr. was fourth, and Nix was fifth. Four of the eight scouts had Williams last, while another three had him in fifth. Generally, the concerns centered around his lack of consistent composure and lack of adversity.

One of the scouts contrasted him with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Part of what makes Mahomes such an elite quarterback is his composure. Further, Mahomes is generally consistent with his composure. This scout said Williams has been inconsistent.

College is a different game than the NFL, so if this was a problem in college, it has the potential to become magnified at the professional level with additional pressure and higher-quality opponents.

The concern about lack of adversity is not a new concern. Williams started his collegiate journey at the University of Oklahoma. After not starting as a freshman, he transferred to USC where he would start for the next two years, winning the Heisman his first season with the Trojans. He was injured in the first quarter of their Pac-12 Championship game that year, which he says is the reason for their 47-24 loss in that game.

His final season was a bit of a letdown. After winning their first six games, they went on to lose five of their last six games, starting with Williams’ worst game of his collegiate career against Notre Dame when he threw three interceptions.

In summary, Williams has been through some adversity, but nothing above what other quarterbacks have faced. Not starting in your freshman year is typical; only two quarterbacks of the six in this report started every season of college, those being Nix and McCarthy. Williams is the only one to transfer one year after his original school. Having a seven-win season where you take your team to a bowl game is something that other quarterbacks would aspire to do; Maye’s team had eight wins going into their bowl game and finished with the same record as USC after the bowl game.

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