USC football alum Caleb Williams goes No. 1 overall to Chicago Bears in NFL Draft

As expected, the Chicago Bears selected Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
2024 NFL Draft - Round 1
2024 NFL Draft - Round 1 / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

After months of going through the NFL Draft process, what we knew all along would happen finally transpired Thursday night in Detroit. With the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears selected Caleb Williams from USC.

Becoming the sixth Trojan player to go No. 1 overall, he infuses some hope into a QB-starved franchise. The other USC alums to be the top pick were offensive tackle Ron Yary in 1968, running back O.J. Simpson in 1969, running back Ricky Bell in 1977, wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson in 1996, and QB Carson Palmer in 2003.

Other USC quarterbacks to go in the top ten include Sam Darnold at pick No. 3 in 2018, Pete Beathard at pick No. 5 in 1964, Mark Sanchez at pick No. 5 in 2009, Jim Hardy at pick No. 8 in 1945, and Matt Leinart at pick No. 10 in 2006.

Unfortunately, none of those picks turned out to be generational quarterbacks. Williams could change that trend.

Ian Cummings of has this glowing scouting report on the newest Chicago Bear: "At 6’1″, 215 pounds, Williams is one of the most prolific, natural creators to hit the NFL Draft circuit over the past decade. At times, he resembles a magician with his ability to control the field and make something out of nothing.

"Not only is Williams a fluid athlete with impressive change of direction, play strength, and functional speed, but he has uncommon instincts as a creator in space, and his effortless off-platform throwing ability makes him a two-phase threat from snap to whistle.

"Williams creates at a level rarely seen, but he also has the traits to win as a passer, both from within and outside the pocket. He’s a good processor who has great leverage IQ and pressure sense. And unlike many creators, he doesn’t bail from the pocket to a fault. He knows how to manage his spacing and manipulate throwing windows under center."

The expectation is that Williams will be the best USC QB to ever play in the NFL. In fact, some are already comparing him to Patrick Mahomes II of the Kansas City Chiefs.

While that lofty comparison is a bit unfair given that Mahomes is the best player on the planet, Williams has many of the same traits that Mahomes possessed in college including a stellar arm, mobility in the pocket, and a penchant for making spectacular plays off schedule.

There are concerns about his size, though. He is not as big as Mahomes and he lacks the prototypical size for an NFL QB. Will he be able to take the hits that NFL defenses are sure to lay on him over the course of a 17-game season?

Others wonder if he developed a poor habit of hunting game-breaking plays while at USC. Because he has played his entire career on teams that have had suspect defenses, many question whether he has become obsessed with trying to save the day on every play, something he can't do in the NFL.

Still, the Bears are betting the future of their proud franchise on Williams. He is the latest Trojan to be the darling of the NFL Draft and it will be exciting to see how he plays on Sundays in the Windy City.