Breaking Down Caleb Williams USC Football Pro Day

Credit: Ryan Dyrud - LAFB Network

The presumptive #1 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft, USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams, completed his Pro Day this morning at Alyson Felix Field on the USC campus. With a plethora of NFL GMs, coaches, and scouts in attendance, Williams threw for approximately 30 minutes followed by a few minutes of taking questions from local media. Here’s everything you need to know:

Breaking Down Caleb Williams USC Football Pro Day

Williams ended up throwing 55 balls, including 10 warm-up fade routes (5 each from each side of the field), 24 full-speed check-downs under 10 yards, 16 full-speed intermediate throws with a variety of route tree concepts between 10 and 20 yards, and 5 full speed deep shots.

On the 24 check-downs, which were a combination of digs and inside slants to receivers with line-of-scrimmage tosses to running backs, Williams didn’t have an incomplete while demonstrating footwork that was more methodical than meticulous.  

On his 16 intermediate routes, Caleb Williams was once again perfect, however, three passes required significant individual efforts from Rice and Washington, respectively. The first was an outside-in slant route that was a couple of feet behind Rice and high, where Jerry’s son looked like his pops making an incredible snare while swerving his hips nearly 180 degrees.

Caleb Williams Warming Up At His USC Football Pro Day.
Caleb Williams Warming Up At His USC Football Pro Day. Credit: Ryan Dyrud – LAFB Network

Another throw, this time on a post corner to Washington, was once again behind his target, and the Trojans’ lone 1,000-yard receiver in 2023 made a mid-air twist to come down cleanly with the reception.

Finally, an intermediate out route to Washington near the weak-side sideline required an elite individual effort from the 5-foot 10-inch senior to catch the ball with his fingertips and keep both toes inbounds.

Williams’ five deep shots had mixed results going only 2/5. He overthrew Rice twice, once on a straight go-route and the other on a slant-and-go, while a third throw fluttered in the air causing Washington to drop what would have been a sensational over-the-shoulder basket catch. However, Williams’ 55th and final throw of the day was sublime – a ball 60 yards in the air snared in from Rice with perfect accuracy to the delightful cheer of the nearly 100 people in attendance.

Overall, Williams’ effort was solid, but not spectacular. The two questions about his game remain, namely, his down-field accuracy and the quality of his footwork. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner only had one throw that required significant movement outside the pocket and didn’t run the 40-yard dash. 

It seemed to be a low-risk, low-reward approach to his final dress rehearsal before wearing an NFL cap. Given that apparel will most certainly have the phrase “Chicago Bears” on it, there was very little to gain and a lot to lose. 

If Caleb Williams’ Pro Day was a bit anti-climactic, all that means is the climax will radiate when Commissioner Goodell utters the phrase, “and with the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select…”