Caleb Williams grapples with the “totally underdeveloped” nature of the draft.
USC quarterback Caleb Williams will likely be the first pick in the 2024 draft. If submitted for the 2024 draft. He might decide to stay in school for another year, make no money, and see what happens in 2025.
Regardless, with the jump to the NFL looming, Williams and his father began to realize that there was something counterintuitive about the NFL draft.
“I’ve always been able to pick which team I’ve played for, and then everything is scheduled for me,” Williams told GQ’s Sam Shoppe. “But now, going into this next part of my career, it’s strange (because) it’s very uncertain. You don’t know anything. You can’t control anything But you and how you behave. Honestly, that’s the weirdest part for me, which is the uncertainty.
But he does have some control, beyond the way he acts. His father, Carl, knows what it is. Caleb can skip the 2024 draft if he doesn’t want to play for the team with the first pick.
“The unorthodox thing about the NFL draft process is that it would be better not to draft him than to draft him first,” Carl Williams told Schube. “The system is completely backwards…. The way the system is built, you go to the worst possible situation. The worst possible team, the worst organization in the league – because of their desire for par – get first pick. So it’s the gift and the curse.”
With the caveat, as Carl Williams said, Caleb gets “two shots in the apple. . . . So, if it’s not going well, the truth is, he can go back to school.
But the situation in 2025 may not be better, as the worst team will again win first place in the draft. So instead of running from it, why not take charge of it?
Caleb Williams has more control than he currently realizes. He can tell the team holding the first overall pick, “Never mind.” And he can back that up with work, refusing to sign the contract if the first-choice team agrees to it.
Many believe that five years after the Cardinals bottomed out in favor of Killer Murray, they hope to do it again with Williams. Williams can tell they won’t be playing with them. He can set conditions on what might cause him to change his mind.
Very rarely do big prospects take control of the draft process. John Elway did it 40 years ago. Eli Manning did it 20 years ago. Maybe it’s time for someone to do it again. Maybe it’s time for this to happen more frequently.
need to. This first stop in a player’s career, especially at centre-back, is crucial. Would Patrick Mahomes have become Patrick Mahomes if he had been drafted by the Browns in 2017? He benefited from slipping far enough away that a great organization arose to capture him.
Maybe someone will come get Williams. Regardless, Williams needs to realize that he doesn’t just have to undergo this operation. He has the power. He has clout. He has control, beyond the possibility of returning to USC for another season.