How does Caleb Williams impact Bears NFC North division chances?

The Chicago Bears take Caleb Williams with the 1st pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but how soon can they get back on top of the NFC North?
Caleb Williams, Chicago Bears
Caleb Williams, Chicago Bears / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The wait is over and the Chicago Bears can finally officially say that Caleb Williams is their new franchise quarterback. The Bears got a mulligan on holding the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft after last year's blockbuster deal with the Carolina Panthers, and it probably saved the jobs of both GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus.

So how quickly can Caleb Williams turn this Chicago Bears franchise into a true contender in the NFC North? Could it happen as early as the 2024 season?

That's not out of the realm of possibility.

After what we saw from CJ Stroud last year, you can't help but wonder if the Bears (or any team picking a QB) could experience a similar turnaround. After the addition of Montez Sweat, the Bears' defense took a huge step forward in the second half of last season. With the defense's improvement, a secondary that is loaded with talent, and now Keenan Allen in the mix at receiver along with DJ Moore, this Bears team is poised to make a run.

Caleb Williams will be the straw that stirs the drink, however. There's no question about it.

The former Oklahoma and USC superstar has all of the traits you covet at the quarterback position today. He's got the arm talent to threaten every level of the field on schedule and he's got the playmaking ability and pocket presence to win even when the play breaks down. He's got a quick release, he makes good decisions with the football, and if any of these young QBs can come in and have instant success, it's going to be Williams with the Bears.


Chicago has been rebuilding for three years already. The infrastructure is already mostly in place. The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers were impressive last season, but let's not forget how much grief the Chicago Bears gave them late last season with Justin Fields at the quarterback position.

The addition of Caleb Williams is not good for the rest of the NFC North, and perhaps the biggest loser is the Minnesota Vikings, who are also in the market for a quarterback this offseason.

It might not be an overnight "worst to first" kind of pick, but the Bears could continue to be a thorn in the side of each of their division foes, and it wouldn't shock me whatsoever to see them jump every team but Detroit in 2024.