Caleb Williams

Scouts around the league firmly believe Caleb Williams is the No. 1 pick: reports

Pete Thamel reports his findings from an anonymous scout poll

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Plenty of the discourse around USC quarterback and NFL prospect Caleb Williams is whether or not he's the "generational talent" scouts and pundits made him out to be heading into the 2023 NCAA season.

And while skepticism remains to some, ESPN's Pete Thamel reports scouts don't see it that way.

"The debate surrounding Williams in scouting circles isn't whether he's the No. 1 pick in the draft, but rather whether he is a once-a-decade type prospect or a generational one," Thamel wrote.

"'I'd be shocked if he wasn't [the No. 1 pick],' one veteran scout said. Another added: 'He's the best player at the most important position,'" Thamel reported from the scouts.

Williams showed a lot of his off-script, elite improvisational skills this season. But there were several head-scratching performances Williams had this season that turned spectators the wrong way.

In particular, his performances against Notre Dame (199 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions), Utah (256 yards, 0 touchdowns) and Oregon (291 yards, 1 touchdown) were bewildering.

But still, scouts aren't convinced Williams' talent isn't the best in the class. If anything, they'd be ecstatic if other scouts weighed his 2023 season heavily against him. Scouts appear to be starved for Caleb Williams, according to Thamel's report.

The Bears are the only team, as of this writing, who have the outright chance of drafting him. They own the No. 1 pick in the draft. But, they're fighting an internal battle. Should they draft Williams or keep Justin Fields?

The predominant thinking around the league appears to be centered around the Bears drafting Williams.

"I don’t know what he’ll [Ryan Poles] do, but I can tell you what other NFL teams believe he’ll do: trade Justin Fields and draft a quarterback at No. 1. This is as much a financial decision as it is a football decision," Dane Brugler wrote.

“I just think he’s a rare, rare talent and I can’t see the Chicago Bears bypassing that,” NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said about Williams.

“He’s got an unbelievable amount of horsepower in terms of how he can generate velocity with arm, what he can do with the force with his legs, the creativity we all know about. I just think every quarterback has some risk. Do I wish he played on time a bit more? Sure. But I think (Patrick) Mahomes is the greatest example of that. You can kind of corral that without taking away the magic.”

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