Draft Expert Sheds Light On Caleb Williams’ 2023 Decline

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In 2022 Caleb Williams and the Lincoln Riley lead USC Trojans football team lit the college football world on fire. Williams threw 500 times for 4537 yards at a 66.6 completion percentage, 42 touchdowns, and only five interceptions. Williams also ran for another 10 TDs. He won the Heisman Trophy and the only question was how much better will he be in 2023.

Well, he wasn’t better. Statistically, he took a significant step back to the tune of almost 1000 fewer passing yards and a passing touchdown less per game (12). ESPN’s foremost draft expert, Mel Kiper, went on ESPN 1000’s Waddle and Silvy in Chicago in part to share his thoughts on what went wrong in University Park. And in his opinion, it wasn’t Caleb Williams.

NCAA Football: Washington at Southern California
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Kiper On Caleb Williams

“He didn’t have Jordan Addison this year, Kiper said, “I don’t see any great offensive linemen, I didn’t see any great wide receivers. They had a good running back, but they didn’t use him necessarily enough. So you think about it. Really, you have agents now, you’re doing commercials. You’re a pro when you’re playing college. He had won the Heisman, he had done all those great things. The team wasn’t gonna play for the national title, and you get distracted a little bit, and people start to criticize and they don’t see the greatness every week that you saw in 2022, so you start nitpicking a bit.

Kiper continued, “But I think Caleb’s got everything. He’s got arm talent, arm angles, accuracy. He was at 66%, a little over 66% when everybody said he was Mahomes-like. He was at 68.6 this year. He’s 72 touchdowns, 10 picks. You factor in the rushing touchdowns, he has 93 touchdowns and 10 picks over the last two years. Are you kidding me? Again, people want to criticize, nitpick. Caleb Williams, I think, is gonna be a great NFL quarterback.”

Despite a down year, Williams is still the odds-on favorite to be taken with the first pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL draft. Mel Kiper mocked just that in his most recent mock draft on ESPN.

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