Chicago Bears: Jaylon Johnson issues a warning to Caleb Williams ahead of the draft

Chicago Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson issued a warning to likely draft pick Caleb Williams to be humble.

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Now that the Chicago Bears traded Justin Fields away, their draft plans are a little bit clearer. With the top pick in the NFL Draft in April, general manager Ryan Poles likely picks a quarterback. That quarterback will probably be Caleb Williams out of USC.

Williams has a big hype machine behind him. There are those claiming he is a "generational" talent. They compare him to Patrick Mahomes and Peyton Manning. At the USC Pro Day on Wednesday the Bears had nine representatives in attendance. That included Poles, head coach Matt Eberflus, and quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph.

Now Poles is forever tied to Williams. It is imperative that he does what he failed to do for Fields -- set him up to succeed. He has just three more picks after number one so it will be interesting what he does once the draft is underway.

Caleb Williams might be the Chicago Bears' choice to be the franchise quarterback but he will need an attitude adjustment for the veterans to follow him.

While there are many who are ecstatic over the probability of having Williams, there are some who have questions. Sure, he is supremely confident and pumped up when things are going well. However, he is different when things are not.

We have seen Williams break down during and after games. After a loss, he ran into the stands and cried on his mother's lap. In 2023, after the Trojans were out on the college football playoffs, his production dropped. He threw just 9 touchdown passes in his final 7 games. Additionally, he was sullen when reporters interviewed him.

These are all red flags for someone who is expected to come in and become a leader right away. He will have a locker room full of grown-ass men who will see what leadership skills he has. His play on the field will have some kind of impact, but his attitude will have an even bigger impact.

The veterans are aware of what is happening. They know all the hype surrounding Williams and some of his antics. He went into the NFL Combine doing everything but doing drills and taking real measurements. He elected not to do the medicals, waiting instead for his Pro Day.

Well, now we know why. It was announced at the Pro Day that he measured at 6-feet-7/8 inches tall. That was shorter than the 6-foot-1-1/8 inches announced at the Combine. That's another red flag since only three quarterbacks under 6-foot-1 have won the Super Bowl.

Despite that, Williams still has the extreme confidence that borders on cockiness. How will that play with the veterans?

Johnson issues a warning to Williams

Cornerback Jaylon Johnson just signed a multiyear contract extension worth $76 million. Being one of the long-term members of the team, he is one of the leaders. He also is not bashful about expressing his opinion on anything. He paid a fine in the Matt Nagy era for speaking up.

It is no surprise, then, that Johnson had something to say about the Williams situation. He is a pretty good barometer of what the veterans' feelings are. He said Williams needs to humble himself and keep the Hollywood thing out of the locker room.

"You can't bring that Hollywood stuff into the building, especially not with guys who've played this game at a high level for consecutive years in the league. It's just something that, guys like myself, guys like Tremaine, TJ. I mean just the vets, now Keenan Allen. You just ask certain guys in the locker room, I feel like we gonna see through. It's like what you did in college, the Hollywood, you gotta prove yourself. That stuff doesn't matter."

Fields was a popular figure in the Chicago Bears locker room. There were more than a few teammates who campaigned for him to stay and for the Bears to trade the pick for a treasure trove of picks. Johnson said it took him a few days to digest the situation and then move on. Williams has a lot of work to do to impress the locker room and have them accept him.


Williams may have convinced the Chicago Bears and some of the fans, as well as the media, that he is the next Mahomes or Manning. However, he still has to prove it to the veterans. They won't just take his word for it. He needs to show it on the practice field and then in games. They will test him to see how tough he is. Let's see how he fares with his teammates before we see how he fares against the league.