Caleb Willams is an NFL Draft Prospect Unlike Any Other

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There is a lot to love about Caleb Williams as the future of your NFL franchise. He played college football in the spotlight of Los Angeles at USC. He won a Heisman Trophy. He’s been focused on becoming an NFL quarterback as long as he can remember. He’s an incredible physical talent, compared to three-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes. He’s described as a leader who only wants to win by those who have coached him.

There is so much to like about Caleb Williams that he has spent the last two years as the betting favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. And now that he is in the draft, NFL online sportsbooks have him as the prohibitive favorite to go first overall, paying -1000.

However, the odds of him going to the Chicago Bears at No. 1 are slightly different. A bet on Williams to be selected by the Bears pays -900.

Even though the discrepancy is small, it is telling.

To Trade or Not to Trade, That is the Question

Williams is the most talked-about quarterback prospect since Trevor Lawrence was taken No. 1 overall, and most scouts see him having a higher ceiling than the Jacksonville Jaguars’ first pick in 2021.

Williams is also unique in that he is the first true star of the NIL era. He comes into the NFL Draft already a millionaire, estimated to have made $10 million off of endorsements during his time at USC. And that does change things for a player who is going to be locked into a rookie contract that will average less than $10 million per season.

Williams is a unique prospect, and he is doing things his own way. Not only will he not throw this weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine, he will not submit to a medical exam while in Indianapolis. The exam is considering to be routine, and also essential for teams who are thinking of drafting a player.

Williams has also declined to submit his medical records to all 32 teams. But he has made an exception for a handful of select high-drafters, including the Bears.

There is also the question of his father, Carl Williams. Carl is on record as not liking the rookie wage scale, the draft declaration deadline, and the entire draft process. He doesn’t like that “the worst possible team, the worst organization in the league” gets to own the rights to his son.

Quarterback dads are nothing new in the sport. But quarterback dads/business managers are a particularly thorny issue. Williams has not signed with an NFLPA-certified agent, so right now, he is getting advice from Carl and from his publicist.

There is a thought that Caleb Williams won’t sign with an agent until after the draft. Why give money to an agent when the size and amount of your contract is already decided?

If the Bears have been given reason to worry about Williams, contract holdouts, or forced trades, they aren’t acting like it. Bears general manager Ryan Poles was asked about the reports that Williams doesn’t want to play in Chicago, and Poles said he has “no concerns at all.”

But Poles does have Justin Fields as his current quarterback. He also has other options in the draft, like trading the pick and adding more draft capital for now and in the future. There are also two other very good prospects at quarterback in Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels.

Illinois online sportsbooks have Maye and Daniels at +750 to be selected No. 1 overall. On the question of which team will select Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner, the Bears are +1500. Not a likely choice, but not completely off the table, either.

To be fair to Williams, Daniels is also declining to throw at the combine this weekend. However, the rest of his time in Indianapolis is status quo, including medical exams for all NFL teams.

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