Caleb Williams’ realistic landing spots in 2024 NFL draft
USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams is the Heisman Trophy winner, a leading contender to win the award this upcoming season, and the far-and-away favorite to be the top pick in the 2024 NFL draft.
There is a lot to like about Caleb Williams, and some have even pegged him as the next Patrick Mahomes, which is quite notable considering the Trojans hired former Mahomes coach Kliff Kingsbury in an offensive analyst role.
The 2023 NFL draft is in the rearview mirror, but with Williams expected to be the top pick — or at least the first QB taken — let’s take a look at five possible landing spots. We’ve based the picks off the draft order from The Athletic’s early mock draft.
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Broncos might not be winning many games this year, but if they get a top-10 pick, Sean Payton would love to get his hands on Caleb Williams as the replacement for Russell Wilson. Denver could certainly trade up and go all-in, as would other teams.
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett are set to undergo a QB competition. If the Commanders don’t perform well, Ron Rivera and Caleb Williams could be a realistic possibility.
Nov 13, 2022; Munich, Germany; Tampa Bay Buccaneers helmets on the bench before an NFL International Series game at Allianz Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask are battling it out for the Bucs’ starting job after Tom Brady retired. Both of them are temporary options, and the Bucs could consider losing games purposely to make a run at Caleb Williams. He’s that good.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon speaks during a news conference at the Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center in Tempe on April 11, 2023.
The Cardinals traded with the Houston Texans and earned another first-round pick in 2024. With Kyler Murray out for the season most likely, there is a chance they have the top two picks — which is what The Athletic mock draft has them at. It has them selecting Caleb Williams first overall, and here’s what Dane Brugler wrote:
Although there are financial ramifications with Kyler Murray’s contract, the Cardinals won’t be passing on a quarterback if they are indeed picking No. 1 next April. Based on his 2022 tape, Williams is worth the top pick — NFL scouts believe he would have been the No. 1 selection this past draft, had he been eligible.
Sep 11, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Drake London (5) on the field prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Athletic has the Falcons at No. 8 in next year’s draft. Some of the other teams in the projected top 10 have a young quarterback they have invested in. The Falcons might give Desmond Ridder a shot, but if they can trade up to No. 1 for Caleb, they’re going to do it, and they might be able to beat out other top-10 teams interested in swinging a trade.