USC quarterback Caleb Williams has claimed the top spot on the initial 2024 NFL draft big board, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.
The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner is praised by Jeremiah for his “franchise-altering upside” and described as a natural thrower with the ability to deliver accurate and powerful throws from various platforms and arm angles.
Williams is noted for his versatility, ability to power the ball into tight windows while stationary or on the move, finesse the ball when needed, and exhibit lightning-quick hands in the RPO (Run-Pass Option) game. Additionally, his dynamic running style and ability to make defenders miss in space add to his appeal as a top prospect.
The top five on the draft board are rounded out by Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Washington wideout Rome Odunze, North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, and LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.
Before the 2023 season commenced, Williams was widely regarded as the consensus pick for the best draft-eligible player in college football.
Despite a challenging season where the Trojans lost five of their final six regular-season games, Williams’ overall performance and potential as a top signal-caller continue to make him a compelling prospect, according to Jeremiah.
The battle for the second spot in the draft is anticipated to be more intriguing. Maye, while not performing poorly in 2023, did not match his previous year’s level. On the other hand, Daniels saw his stock rise significantly, particularly after winning the Heisman.
Daniels’ impressive numbers, including 3,812 passing yards, 1,134 rushing yards, and 50 total touchdowns, have garnered attention, with Jeremiah highlighting his exceptional accuracy, decision-making, and speed.
The uncertainty surrounding Williams’ potential landing spot stems from the Chicago Bears holding the No. 1 overall pick and already having a young quarterback around whom they can build.
Despite uncertainty at the quarterback position, D.J. Moore’s performance in 2023 has been commendable, and adding Marvin Harrison Jr. would potentially strengthen the Bears’ aerial attack.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. believes Harrison is on track to receive his highest pre-draft grade for a wide receiver since Calvin Johnson (2007) and Larry Fitzgerald (2004), making him an appealing choice for the Bears’ offense.
Even if Justin Fields is not viewed as the long-term solution, the combination of Harrison and Moore could provide a solid foundation for the team’s offense.