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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Caleb Williams (QB – USC)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Caleb Williams (QB – USC)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams (QB – USC)

6’1” – 215 lbs.

Background:

Five-star recruit who was considered the top quarterback in his class. Originally attended Oklahoma, where he took over the starting job from Spencer Rattler during the sixth game of the year. Finished that season with 1,912 yards (64.5%, 9.1 YPA), 21 touchdowns, and four interceptions, rushing for 79-442-6 and going 5-2 as the starter. Followed Lincoln Riley to the Trojans the following year, enjoying his best season: 4,537 yards (66.6%, 9.1), 42 touchdowns, five interceptions, and 113-382-10 on the ground, finishing 11-3 and taking home the Heisman trophy and Maxwell Award. Heading into bowl season, has thrown for 3,333 yards (68.6, 9.4), 30 touchdowns, and five interceptions, rushing for 142 yards and eleven touchdowns, and going 7-5 as the starter in 2023.

Positives:

Highly productive 33-game starter. Thickly-built passer who shows impressive toughness. Sees the field very well and makes good decisions with the ball. Patient player who’s able to work through full-field progressions to find open receivers; doesn’t give up on deeper routes just because a checkdown is available, leading to chunk plays. Stays light on his feet in the pocket. Excellent movement in the backfield allows him to escape pressure and extend the play; no one in college football has his level of improvisational playmaking talent out of structure. Shows solid elasticity in his motion, with a quick release. Transfers weight effectively to drive the football downfield with velocity. Modifies his arm angle at will. Throws with excellent touch. Overall ball placement is very good to all three levels of the field. Accurate deep-ball thrower with good timing and arc on his throws. Able to manipulate defenders with his eyes. Consistently keeps his eyes downfield when fleeing the pocket and maintains his accuracy when throwing on the move. Elusive in the open field, with the ability to make defenders miss and pick up clutch first-downs with his feet. Can grind through defenders in short-yardage situations. Gets out in space and shows excellent effort to block for his teammates.

Negatives:

Slightly shorter than you’d like. Can occasionally flee the pocket when there’s still time and space for him to operate from within structure. Attempts some throws off of his back foot against pressure. Will throw some passes across his body while scrambling toward the sidelines. Deep balls occasionally sail on him. Wasn’t quite as good under pressure this year as he was in 2022. Ball security has been a major issue in 2023; has fumbled the ball sixteen times this year (six in 2022), and tends to flag the ball away from his body.

Summary:

A veritable football magician, he’s mesmerized fans since his time at Oklahoma, showing the type of creative playmaking skills that are impossible to teach. With an excellent combination of pocket movement, elusiveness, patience, decision-making, touch, and accuracy, should be the favorite to end up as the first overall pick in this year’s class. Natural feel for the game is so good that it’d be shocking if he didn’t end up being a high-end franchise quarterback.

Projection: Round 1

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