Star quarterback Caleb Williams has been a national media headline for months. Draft experts and general football fans have claimed Williams to be a generational talent and the undisputed 1st pick overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. Williams has awed the public with his athletic displays on the field making pinpoint throws under pressure and making incredible plays.
Williams is recently coming off a 20-48 loss to Notre Dame where the USC quarterback did not play his finest ball. In that contest, Williams threw for a mere 199 yards, was 23 of 37 for his passing attempts and threw a single touchdown with three interceptions. Williams showed everyone that he is in fact human and is susceptible for poor play, like every other quarterback in history.
Caleb Williams' draft stock could be dropping after that game, but not just due to his lackluster performance. Williams has made several comments that have raised eyebrows, not in a good way. Earlier in 2023 Williams was asked about his abilities compared to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Remember that Mahomes is a generational talent and a two-time Super Bowl Champion.
Williams commented that it was "pretty cool" but elaborated that "I always said, even in high school, and obviously he's special, but I don't think there's anything I can't do that he's doing out there." Confidence is one thing, but saying you are at Patrick Mahomes level of performance is quite outlandish.
The interesting quotes surrounding Williams continued to emerge in the media. After the aforementioned loss to Penn State Williams was asked about a Penn State fan who filmed himself heckling Williams after the game ended. The fan was "trolling" the USC quarterback about his tradition of painting his fingernails before games. Williams was asked about the interaction with the fan and Williams responded;
"Everybody wants to be these two 12.5 shoes right here," Williams told reporters. "I'm not worried about some kid running on the field that doesn't have anything really associated to Notre Dame other than possibly their family going there or him going there himself. Got a lot of guys over here that I've got to lead, so some opinion of a sheep, lions don't worry about that stuff. Keep moving on, keep fighting. Fight on.
While the Notre Dame fan is not the hero in this scenario Williams' comments still made football fans cringe. The idea of Williams calling himself a lion, and fans of the winning Fighting Irish "sheep" after the worst game of his career, is mind-boggling. One could argue that Williams is trying to maintain his alpha personality in the face of adversity, but trying to be humble in these scenarios is something Williams should try. The adversity, as well as heckling fans, will be constant and consistent in the NFL and Williams will have to deal with it tenfold as a quarterback.
The list could continue but one of the more startling quotes emerging about Williams is one of his "provisions" about being drafted into the NFL, presumably in 2024. The rumor has already circulated from Williams' father that he may stay in college for an additional year if he is not going to be drafted by a team he is interested in. That already paints the picture that Williams doesn't just want to be in the NFL, but he wants to be drafted to a team that aligns with his own terms. If that wasn't enough to show the "diva" side of the quarterback now it has surfaced that Williams wants partial ownership of the NFL team that drafts him in April.
This is absurd. There is no other way to put it. Billionaires engage in bidding wars to try and secure even partial ownership of a team, let alone sole ownership of an NFL franchise. Williams may be a millionaire from his NIL deals but he's not even the highest-paid college player. If this report by ProFootballTalk is true then Williams is showing NFL scouts and general managers that he believes he is entitled to something no other player has ever received. That is, without even throwing a pass in the NFL first. Besides the request being ludicrous in itself, it's illegal by NFL standards.
Scouts and general managers will make their own judgment calls when the 2024 NFL Draft rolls around in April. Williams is shedding some light on the character background investigation scouts have to conduct and currently, it does not look good. NFL teams are used to dealing with divas in the NFL but usually, that personality trait comes out well into their careers after some success. Williams already appears to have his head in the clouds and it's only getting bigger.