USC Trojans QB Caleb Williams Declares For 2024 NFL Draft, Scouting Report And Stats To Know

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams has declared for the 2024 NFL Draft, leaving college football after three seasons with a Heisman Trophy and some of the best numbers by a dual-threat quarterback of his era.

Williams, age 22, was originally a 247 Sports’ five-star recruit out of Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C. Rated as the second-best quarterback in his class, Williams’ entire decision-making progress throughout his collegiate career was dictated by what best prepared him for the NFL.

  • Caleb Williams college stats (career): 10,082 passing yards, 93 passing touchdowns, 169.3 QB rating, 66.9 percent completion rate, 960 rushing yards, 27 rushing touchdowns

Related: NFL reporter addresses potential off-field questions with Caleb Williams

As first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Williams has officially declared for the 2024 NFL Draft and has given no indication he’ll try and block a team from selecting him.

The 6-foot-1 quarterback first enrolled at the University of Oklahoma, entrusting head coach Lincoln Riley with his development. As a true freshman, he replaced starting quarterback Spencer Rattler midway through the 2021 season, earning second-team All-Big 12 honors.

When Riley became the USC Trojans head coach, Williams followed him to Southern California. The duo achieved immediate success, with the USC quarterback winning the Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award and Heisman Trophy in 2022.

Williams entered the 2023 season not only viewed as the best prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft, but graded as a generational talent. For his physical traits and playmaking ability, he drew NFL comparisons to Patrick Mahomes. One former college football coach raved about Williams, calling him one of the best quarterbacks he’s ever seen.

  • Caleb Williams stats 2023: 82.3 QBR, 3,633 passing yards, 30-5 TD-INT, 68.6 percent completion rate, 9.4 yards per attempt, 11 rushing touchdowns

While Williams and the Trojans’ football program didn’t meet expectations this fall, nothing Williams displayed on the field hurt his draft stock. In the eyes of NFL evaluators, he has all of the talent to be the face of the franchise and either Williams or Drake Maye will be the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Related: Insider reveals biggest on-field concern NFL teams have with Caleb Williams

Caleb Williams Scouting Report And NFL Future

NCAA Football: UCLA at Southern California
Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

If you were building a prototype quarterback for the modern NFL, Williams is a near replica of the build you would make. While he lacks the ideal frame (6-foot-1) for the position, he has the frame (220 pounds) to make it work.

There are few players in football better at throwing deep than Williams. It certainly helps that he can buy time with his legs, evading defenders and drawing more in to allow a receiver to get open 20-plus yards downfield. What stands out, of course, is just his natural arm strength and touch throwing deep.

  • Caleb Williams stats on deep throws (PFF): 95.5 PFF grade (5th in FBS), 51.5 percent completion rate (3rd), 20.3 yards per attempt (2nd), 15-2 TD-INT, 124.1 NFL QB rating (3rd)

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

Arm strength and athleticism are two of Williams’ best traits. They directly translate to one of the things he does best, which is creating explosive plays out of structure when the original call breaks down. There are numerous instances to highlight from the 2023 season alone. Against Nevada, Willaims avoided three pass rushers and then delivered an off-platform touchdown strike. He showed his Mahomes-like improvisation ability in that same game. Facing San Jose State, he fumbled the snap and then, with a defender in his face, launched a perfect downfield touchdown strike right into a receiver’s hands.

What you saw every Saturday was a quarterback with exceptional playmaking ability and a quarterback who made the players around him better. It was the little things too, like his throws leading receivers upfield or positioning them to make plays after the catch.

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft

PFF GradeQB RatingCompletion %YPATD % – INT %
Caleb Williams vs pressure (’22)85.5116.051.1%8.610.7% – 0%
Caleb Williams vs blitz (’22)81.6124.963.3%8.012% – 0.6%
Williams vs pressure (’23)41.681.647.1%7.27.4% – 3.9%
Williams vs blitz (’23)88.3124.063.8%9.910.7% – 2%
Statistics via Pro Football Focus

No quarterback prospect is perfect and Williams has flaws. In both seasons with the Trojans, especially this year, Williams’ bad habit of holding onto the football too long and taking unnecessary sacks was on full display. One metric to highlight that, Pro Football Focus recorded Williams as being responsible for 30 percent of the pressures faced this year. Drake Maye (26.3 percent) was second and only three quarterbacks finished with a rate of 25–plus percent.

The NFL team that drafts Williams will also have plenty of coaching to do. He didn’t play in anything close to a pro-style offense and his footwork remains a true work in progress. Williams also must tone down his frequency of freelancing, instead taking what’s in front of him and cutting down on the mistakes caused by overaggressiveness.

Williams is worthy of the No. 1 pick and he’s a better quarterback talent than anyone from the 2023 NFL Draft class. He is also a marketable star, which provides added value to the franchise that drafts him. With the Chicago Bears poised to have the first pick in 2024, it’s reasonable to think Williams will be teamed up with D.J. Moore and Cole Kmet next season.