A USC Signal-Caller Drops To No. 2 In 2024 NFL Draft QB Rankings
QB2: Caleb Williams (USC)
At one point in the 2024 NFL Draft process, Caleb Williams had a respectable gap between himself and the rest of the quarterbacks. While it’s not as drastic as some of the pundits on social media would have you believe, Williams struggled mightily in his final year on campus.
Positives: Arm Talent, Creativity, Running Ability, Pocket Control
Negatives: Size, Throwing Mechanics, Lower-Body Mechanics
For Williams, he was set up for failure with all of the lofty Patrick Mahomes comparisons. The Trojan signal-caller was never Mahomes, but in all actuality, who is? Still, the arm talent he puts on tape is rare; only a handful of quarterbacks in the NFL can match his sheer level of talent.
The ball is always lively coming out of his hands, flexing an impressive fastball that slices through defenses in the intermediate game while showing the ability to launch the ball 60 yards downfield with relative ease. Simply put, Williams can make any throw in the book.
What makes him truly special is the way he creates something out of nothing so consistently. It’s a lot of responsibility on the quarterback in a Lincoln Riley scheme; Williams is asked to either hit his first read if it’s open or quickly move the pocket and create passing lanes on his own.
That is something that clouds his projection to the NFL just as much as it elicits excitement amongst scouts. While the highlight reel plays are undoubtedly fun to watch, it draws into question his ability (and willingness) to take what the defense gives him at the next level. These video-game-style reps will be harder to replicate against an NFL defense.
Going further, his mechanics are far from textbook. Williams rarely gets his feet set, constantly having weight pushed onto his back or front foot. That bleeds over into his mechanics up top too, as the gifted passer boasts a wonky delivery. Size is another red flag, with Williams unlikely to check in much higher than 6 feet.
The risk is evident, but so is the immense upside. That is why Caleb Williams is still a top-five player in the 2024 NFL Draft and is firmly entrenched as the QB2 behind Drake Maye. Any quarterback-needy team would be lucky to acquire the talents of Williams.