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Jan 15, 2024 3:22 pm

USC QB Caleb Williams, potential No. 1 pick, enters NFL draft

USC quarterback Caleb Williams entered the 2024 NFL Draft and is projected to be in the running for the No. 1 overall pick.

“Since I was 10, all I ever wanted to do was to play football,” Williams wrote on X. “The journey would be empty without the people who have supported and loved me. I will Fight On forever and rep Hornsdown4Life. I’m ready to do whatever it takes. I am officially declaring for the NFL Draft.”

Considered the likely No. 1 overall selection in the draft, Williams passed for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions in 12 games this season. Though Williams’ numbers were strong, the Trojans finished with a disappointing 8-5 record (5-4 Pac-12). They won the Dec. 17 Holiday Bowl over Louisville, 48-28, but Williams decided to sit out the game.

The first pick in the draft is currently held by the Chicago Bears, who are weighing whether to keep the selection after trading the No. 1 pick to the Carolina Panthers last year. Under consideration for the Bears is whether Williams could be a better fit, a matter that involves the financial commitment pending from the franchise to 2021 first-rounder Justin Fields.

Williams isn’t the only candidate for the top pick in a class with strong talent at the position. North Carolina’s Drake Maye, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, Oregon’s Bo Nix and Washington’s Michael Penix are part of the deep pool of quarterbacks.

In 2022, his first season with the Trojans, Williams had 4,537 yards, 42 touchdowns and five interceptions in 14 games on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. USC started 11-1 that season before losing to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game and to Tulane in the Cotton Bowl.

As a freshman in 2021 at Oklahoma, Williams passed for 1,912 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions before making the jump to USC.

–Field Level Media

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