2024 NFL Draft: Prospect profile on USC quarterback Caleb Williams

As we inch close to April's NFL Draft, we take a look at some possible Chicago Bears targets. First up is quarterback Caleb Williams.

UCLA v USC / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

Now that the NFL's free agency frenzy has died down the attention turns to the draft. The Chicago Bears, owners of two top-ten picks, including the number one overall pick, made their plans a little clearer. They traded their QB1, Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers. That means they are looking for a quarterback.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams is considered the top pick in the draft. He is the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner and some compare him to Patrick Mahomes and Peyton Manning. The temptation of going after a highly talented prospect, who is now tied to general manager Ryan Poles, was higher than the value of the haul he could have received from trading the pick.

The Chicago Bears appear to be all in on quarterback Caleb Williams with the top pick of the draft. Here is a profile of him that may show why.

The Chicago Bears sent a small village of people to USC's Pro Day to watch Williams. Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus, along with offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, as well as quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph, arrived days before watching him in action. Their pursuit of Williams makes them look like a lovestruck teenager longing for the most popular girl at school.

What is it about Williams that has the Bears and a lot of other teams salivating? Well, let's take a look at his profile.

In 2021, he was a freshman All-American and All-Big 12 honorable mention playing with the Oklahoma Sooners. After the season, head coach Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma to coach USC. Williams decided to follow him to sunny California. There he really shined. He became Riley's fourth Heisman winner.

In 2022, Williams USC and college football by storm. He won the Heisman Trophy after completing 333 of 500 attempts for 4,537 yards, 42 touchdowns against five interceptions, and running for 382 yards and 10 scores.

Williams' best trait is his ability to burn defenses once a play breaks down. He is always looking downfield, even when he is rolling out and under pressure. When he drops back, he has a great feel for pressure. He does a great job of extending a play. Additionally, he can escape and take off when he needs to. He doesn't run at the same level as Fields, but he can cause some damage with his legs.

Williams also has the arm strength to make any throw. He completed 67 percent of his passes in his career and averaged 9.2 yards per attempt. While he is deadly running out of the pocket, he can also stay in it and be very successful. Throwing out of the pocket was one of Fields' biggest flaws.

Williams is able to torque his hips to be able to make strong throws. He has the strength to throw the ball into a closing window. He can adjust his angle depending on the throw he needs to make.

Williams is especially deadly in the red zone. There, he has a 46:1 touchdown to interception ratio. He is able to make great decisions that result in touchdowns instead of field goals. Too many times in the Chicago Bears offense, they marched down the field only to have drives die in the end zone.

Williams will have weapons to choose from when he steps onto the field. He could repeat his red zone success because of that. He will have DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, Cole Kmet, and Gerald Everett. He will also have D'Andre Swift and Roschon Johnson, two running backs who can be effective pass catchers.

There are some concerns with Williams, however. With his scrambling success, he tends to leave the pocket too quickly. Also, he sometimes tries to play too much hero ball. He will hold onto the ball too long, looking for the big play. There are times when he could just run for a first down instead of waiting for receivers to get open downfield.

Since Williams has the arm strength to make any throws he sometimes has trouble with his mechanics. He will throw off his back foot too many times. Yes, there are times when he has to do it, but there are times when he isn't under yet he still tries to throw off his back foot.

Williams also tries to make the phenomenal throw instead of an easy one. That will get him in trouble at the professional level. We saw another Chicago Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler, who depended on his arm strength too much. He kept forcing throws and he paid the price with too many interceptions.

Additionally, Williams has had some trouble throwing deep downfield. However, in 2023 he improved greatly in getting air under his deep throws. On throws in the middle, he has trouble making anticipatory throws.

There is also a question about Williams' mental game. In 2023, USC did not qualify for the college playoffs. With Williams, the Trojans were 7-5. Once it was apparent they would not compete in the playoffs, it seemed that he shut down. He threw just nine touchdowns in his final seven games.

Furthermore, as the losses racked up, Williams seemed aloof and disrespectful of his opponents and the media. There were times in which he sat on the bench sulking and refused to congratulate his opponents after losses. He painted his nails with insults of his opponents. Also, he rolled his eyes and acted as if he did not want to be in front of the media.

There was also an incident after a loss when Williams ran into the stands and cried to his mother. That will not go over well when he is trying to lead a locker room full of Type A personalities. The NFL can humble players quickly so he has to show that he can be up during the down times like he is during the good times.

Williams will have to deal with the Chicago media. The beat reporters can be relentless on a player if he is not doing what he has to do. Additionally, sports talk radio in Chicago can also be brutal. Hopefully, Williams learned from what happened in 2023. If the team struggles and he doesn't handle it well, the city will come down on him. Throw in the Chicago Bears fans who are upset at Fields leaving and it can get ugly if he doesn't handle the pressure well.


Williams is a very talented prospect. He has all the tools to have a successful career in the NFL. He does everything that Poles wants from his players. If he is able to put it together and play well he has the opportunity of becoming a Chicago sports legend.