USC star quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams is projected by mostly everyone to be the #1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
However, in an interview with GQ, Caleb’s father, Carl Williams, revealed that there is no guarantee his son will be declaring for the draft.
He made it clear that Caleb will return to USC if the team drafting first overall doesn’t present the right situation and fit.
“The funky thing about the NFL draft process is, he’d almost be better off not being drafted than being drafted first,” Carl said. “The system is completely backward. The way the system is constructed, you go to the worst possible situation. The worst possible team, the worst organization in the league – because of their desire for parity – gets the first pick. So it’s the gift and the curse.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 6, 2023
One key factor influencing Caleb’s decision is the recent change in NCAA policies that allow college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness. Reports suggest that Williams is set to earn approximately $3 million during this season, an opportunity not available to previous top college players who often opted to enter the NFL draft early.
Carl cited examples such as Archie Manning, whose career was impacted by joining a struggling organization, and Lincoln Riley’s past quarterbacks, including Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, who faced challenges due to their draft positions.
“I’ve talked to Archie Manning – his career was shot because he went to a horrible organization,” Carl said. “I’ve talked to Lincoln [Riley], and Kyler [Murray] struggled because of where he was drafted. Baker [Mayfield] struggled mightily because of where he was drafted. The organizations matter.”
Speaking of Kyler Murray, Arizona is ironically enough projected to be the worst team in the league, and therefore own the #1 overall pick (if they are).
For now, Caleb is completely focused on trying to lead the Trojans to a national championship – while also trying to earn a second-straight Heisman Trophy.
What do you think of Carl’s comments?
Will the new NIL world change players’ minds when it comes to declaring for the NFL Draft or not?
If you’re Caleb and the Cardinals have the #1 overall pick, would you enter the draft, or stay at USC?