Caleb Williams Draft Prospects Dim: Fears of Sliding in NFL Draft Rankings Grow

Daniels Challenges Williams in Upcoming NFL Draft Showdown.

by Nouman Rasool
Caleb Williams Draft Prospects Dim: Fears of Sliding in NFL Draft Rankings Grow
© Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

In a stunning turn of events, Caleb Williams, long considered the shoo-in for the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, is facing unexpected competition. The USC Trojans' star quarterback, who sat out of the recent Holiday Bowl, is rumored to be in a tight race for the top spot, with the Chicago Bears holding the coveted first pick.

Williams, a 22-year-old Heisman Trophy winner in 2022, has been a standout player. Despite a less-than-stellar season for the Trojans, his talent as a quarterback remains undisputed. However, ESPN's seasoned draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

suggests that Williams' position as the top pick isn't as secure as once thought. Surprisingly, the challenge doesn't come from North Carolina Tar Heels' Drake Maye, commonly viewed as the second-best quarterback option. Instead, LSU Tigers' Jayden Daniels has emerged as a formidable contender.

Daniels' impressive 2023 season – boasting 3,812 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, and only four interceptions, along with a remarkable 1,134 rushing yards and 10 additional touchdowns has catapulted him into the spotlight.

His dynamic playstyle raises the question: Can he translate this success into the NFL? Kiper, a veteran of 40 drafts, expresses his views emphatically on "First Draft": "Jayden Daniels is red hot... For people to think that Caleb Williams is the only quarterback that could be QB1 in this draft overall...

that’s completely false. We've got a long way to go, but don't think this is going to be a one-horse race."

Combine Showdown Looms

The intrigue heightens as the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis approaches. Daniels is expected to dazzle scouts, not just with his arm strength but potentially in the 40-yard dash, where his speed could set him apart.

His projected 4.40 40-yard dash time, coupled with an exemplary 2023 campaign, positions him as a serious threat to Williams' top spot. The evolving quarterback landscape, particularly influenced by players like Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, underscores the NFL's growing appreciation for versatile quarterbacks.

Jackson, on track for his second NFL MVP, exemplifies the success mobile quarterbacks can achieve. Daniels' similar playstyle and physical prowess might just be the combination to challenge Williams' long-assumed dominance in the draft.

As the draft day nears, with all eyes on Detroit on April 25, the narrative is clear: the race for the top quarterback is far from decided, with Daniels and Williams locked in a battle that promises to captivate the football world.