NFL talent evaluators raise concerns about USC QB Caleb Williams

nfl talent evaluators raise concerns about usc qb caleb williams

USC QB Caleb Williams

While it seems a given that the Chicago Bears will make USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams the first pick of the 2024 NFL Draft on the night of April 25, questions continue to be raised regarding whether Williams can be a leader of a winning pro team.

For a piece published Wednesday, Dan Pompei of The Athletic shared that “eight NFL talent evaluators” ranked Williams sixth out of six quarterback prospects as it pertains to intangibles and immeasurables.

“Four of the eight scouts rated Williams last overall in immeasurables and three rated him next to last,” Pompei explained. “…Williams has been criticized for painting his fingernails and crying in his mother’s arms in the stands after USC lost to Washington. That raised questions about his toughness.”

As recently as Tuesday, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler revealed that some teams were also turned off by how Williams completed no medical evaluations at the scouting combine and by how he allegedly treated the combine “as if he were visiting a real estate open house.” One scout told Pompei that Williams was “difficult to deal with at the combine.”

“It wasn’t easy trying to get information on him,” that scout added about Williams. “You had to dig. Everyone tries to protect him, which leads you to wonder what they are trying to hide. If he has been banged up, we don’t know.”

There’s currently no sign that the Bears have any concerns about Williams’ personality even though Chicago cornerback Jaylon Johnson warned in March that the to-be rookie “can’t bring that Hollywood stuff into the building.” One scout mentioned that the perception exists that Williams has enjoyed a “red-carpet runway experience at every stop and hasn’t had much to overcome.” Williams clapped back at such takes last week.

“I think his toughness has yet to be determined,” that scout told Pompei. “…But when you end up sobbing in your mom’s arms after getting beat, that’s a disqualifier for people who aren’t picking in the top few picks.”

For what it’s worth, multiple scouts noted that teammates and the strength coach at USC “have nothing but great things to say about” Williams and raved about the quarterback’s work ethic. Meanwhile, ESPN analysts Louis Riddick and Dan Orlovsky have publicly said they believe Jayden Daniels of the LSU Tigers is “the best quarterback” in the upcoming draft.

Will any of this matter? Probably not. As of Wednesday afternoon, DraftKings Sportsbook listed Williams as the overwhelming betting favorite at -10000 odds to be the draft’s first choice. Daniels was second on the list at +2000 odds.

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