Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams Taken 1 Overall in 2024 NFL Draft

As expected, the Chicago Bears have taken Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of USC with the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The pick, which has been expected for months, was highly anticipated by Bears fans on social media today, hours before the draft even started.

Williams, now Chicago’s projected starter, will take over an offense that was never able to get going under former quarterback Justin Fields, who was drafted by the Bears with the 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Fortunately for Williams, he has highly touted receiving targets in wide receiver DJ Moore and tight end Cole Kmet to help make his transition to the NFL a little bit easier.Ezoic

Additionally, the Bears traded for six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Keenan Allen earlier this offseason.

The Scouting Report on Chicago Bears Quarterback Caleb Williams

Chicago Bears, Caleb Williams
Apr 24, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams reacts at the Play Football Prospect Clinic at The Corner Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The scouting report for Williams by Lance Zierlein of reads in part:

“Williams’ play is highlighted by rare escapability paired with the talent to exploit defenses once the play breaks down. He’s not tall, but he is well-built, with an arm to challenge defenses across the field. He can be a high-impact playmaker on the go or an effective pocket passer when he allows himself to trust his eyes on second and third reads. He can improve his accuracy and placement on intermediate and deep throws, but he’s unlikely to be known for pinpoint accuracy.

“It is admirable that he looks to keep his eyes up and make throws outside the pocket, but he’ll make things easier on himself early in his pro career by becoming a more decisive scrambler to move the sticks and carry on to the next set of downs. Williams is tremendously talented but often bites off too much responsibility and plays off-schedule.

“He has a good chance to hit new heights with a surrounding cast he trusts, but greater self-discipline and a well-structured offense might be needed to help him become a quarterback who can elevate a franchise to championship contention.”

While everyone is familiar with what positive things Williams brings to Chicago, fans would do well to keep in mind the weaknesses in his game as well.

Williams, while adept at escaping pressure, often takes off on the run when he does not have to. He also has a tendency to throw on the run instead of planting his feet and making a more accurate throw.

These are traits Bears fans are all-too-well familiar with, as Fields had similar weaknesses in his years as their starting quarterback.

The key, of course, will be for the Bears to actually work on developing Williams and help him make quality adjustments to the speed of the NFL. Trading for Allen earlier this offseason, as well as having Moore and Kmet on the roster, will give Williams the best targets he has ever thrown to. This alone could help him take his game to the next level.Ezoic

What the Caleb Williams Pick Means for the Chicago Bears Going Forward

Chicago Bears, Caleb Williams
Nov 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws during the third quarter against the UCLA Bruins at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Williams pick means that the Bears are going all-in on building around the star quarterback they have been looking for. Their entire offseason has been centered around making the transition from college to the NFL as smooth as possible for the former Heisman Trophy winner.Ezoic

As mentioned, Chicago already has quality receiving targets for Williams in Allen, Moore, and Kmet. However, their next order of business should be to find the best players to protect him in the trenches. In 2022, Fields was sacked 55 times, tied for the most in the NFL. Last year, he was sacked 44 times, the fifth most in the league.

Defensively, the Bears had the best run defense in the NFL last season, allowing just 86.4 rushing yards per game. While Chicago has signed two safeties, Kevin Byrd and Jonathan Owens this offseason, they still will need to address their passing defense at some point.

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