2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams




  • Caleb Williams, 6-1/218
  • Quarterback
  • USC

Caleb Williams Scouting Report

By Charlie Campbell

Strengths:

  • Incredible ability to ad lib into big plays
  • Creative
  • Able to create on his own
  • Very dangerous when plays break down
  • Throws extremely well on the run
  • Will make some unbelievable throws
  • Strong arm
  • Accurate
  • Good ball placement
  • Tremendous passing instincts
  • Advanced feel
  • Can power the ball downfield
  • Throws a good deep ball
  • Can rifle strikes into tight windows
  • Able to loft in touch passes
  • Will throw receivers open
  • Leads his receivers for yards after the catch
  • Shows good timing
  • Good decision-making
  • Poised in the pocket
  • Very athletic
  • Escapability; very adept to dodge the rush
  • Dangerous runner
  • Can hurt defenses with his feet
  • Shows power as a runner
  • Very tough as a runner
  • Can carry his team to wins

Weaknesses:

  • Holds onto the ball too long
  • Needs to get the ball out faster
  • Puts pressure on his offensive line
  • A little short
  • Lack of height prevents him from seeing some throwing windows
  • Footwork could improve
  • Doesn’t always step into throws
  • Deep-ball accuracy was off in 2023
  • Will leave some passes short
  • Will force some passes into coverage
  • Ego and high-maintenance family
  • Has had issues with fumbles
  • Can be careless with the ball at times

Prospect Summary:

After being a highly sought after recruit, Williams decided on going to Oklahoma, and he looked poised to continue the trend of head coach Lincoln Riley producing Heisman candidates and high first-round picks. As soon as his freshman season, Williams looked like he could be an even better player than Baker Mayfield or Kyler Murray were for the Sooners. When Spencer Rattler struggled, Williams replaced him as the starter and had an excellent year, completing 65 percent of his passes for 1,912 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also hurt defenses on the ground with six rushing touchdowns and lots of yardage. After the 2021 season, Williams transferred to USC to follow Riley.

Entering the 2022 season, I predicted Williams would win the Heisman Trophy, and that is what he did in 2022 while completing 67 percent of his passes for 4,537 yards, 42 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also had 10 touchdowns rushing for the Trojans.

In 2023, Williams completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions. He added 11 scores on the ground. Williams dominated many opponents, but did have an ugly three-interception game against Notre Dame and had problems taking on Utah.

As a passer, Williams is a dynamic playmaker. He stands poised in the pocket, showing composure and patience to let routes develop. When Williams decides to throw, he has a quick motion with a fast arm whip. The most important attribute for any quarterback is accuracy, and Williams has it, having shown the ability to fire passes by defenders into tight windows. With some natural feel and instincts, Williams is able to throw into tight spaces. In 2023, Williams’ deep-ball accuracy was off a little as he left a number of passes short. If he improves his footwork and steps into throws, these mechanical issues can be improved, if not fixed.

Williams shows an impressive ability to alter his arm angle to fire balls through windows. When defenders leap to bat down passes, Williams will drop his arm to throw from the side or get very creative with quick flips from a standstill or even a jump pass if necessary. Williams’ off-platform throws are very Pat Mahomes-esque and look very natural for him. On top of his ability to adjust and ad lib, Williams has a very strong arm and zero problem making all the throws necessary. Williams’ arm strength is reminiscent of Deshaun Watson’s in that Williams can both drive the ball downfield while also putting air underneath his passes to make them drop in softly and easy to catch for his receivers.

What makes Williams really special is his ability to ad lib, and his creativity is really incredible. Williams will hold onto the ball and let routes develop while showing his excellent mobility to dodge tacklers. He keeps his eyes downfield as he scrambles and throws accurately on the run. Williams is incredibly dangerous when plays break down, and he is very frustrating for defenses because they can execute everything correctly but still see Williams ad lib his team into a big gain.

Williams also will take off running when nothing is open, and he is a dangerous threat on the ground. He is a shifty runner with quickness and also shows toughness to run through some contact and break tackles. As a pro, Williams is going to need to do more sliding and protect himself from hits. Right now, Williams is too cavalier with dishing out hits, stiff arms, and running through tackles. Williams is going to need to be more protective of his head, right shoulder, and right arm in particular to avoid injuries. He isn’t a big quarterback, so he definitely needs to cut down on his physicality as a runner to help avoid injuries as a pro.

Like any college player, Williams has things he needs to improve for the NFL. Williams will need to get the ball out faster at the pro level. While his patience and composure are impressive, he makes life hard on his offensive linemen and he gives the defensive line too much time to generate pressure and hits on the quarterback. Williams will need to get faster with his processing and field vision to help get the ball out faster. That can be a common issues for shorter quarterbacks because they don’t always see clean throwing windows, but Williams must get the ball out more rapidly as a pro quarterback. Getting rid of the ball faster is also going to help Williams stay healthy and reduce his injury risk along with avoiding sacks, fumbles, holding calls, etc. Along the same lines, Williams also will need to run smarter as a pro and reduce the number of hits he takes as a runner.

Along with improving his footwork and mechanics to improve his deep-ball accuracy, Williams needs better ball security. He has had fumbling issues, and he can be careless with the ball at times.

Physically, Williams is everything the NFL is looking for a in a quarterback, except for his height. In terms of makeup, there are some concerns about Williams being a unique personality. He also is said to have a high-maintenance family that has unrealistic expectations for his future pro team.

Overall, Williams is a worthy high first-round prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft and a potential franchise quarterback. Some team sources think Williams could be a generational quarterback prospect. Other sources are not as high on Williams but still feel he could be a good starter.

Prospect Comparison:

Pat Mahomes/Kyler Murray. I don’t believe Williams will reach Mahomes’ level of success, but Williams’ skill set and style of play remind me of Mahomes. Some team sources said Williams looked like a bigger, thicker Kyler Murray, in their opinion.





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