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Caleb Williams receives NFL draft comparison to a Wisconsin Badgers legend

There was a time in the spring and summer of 2022 when it appeared that Caleb Williams could become a Wisconsin Badger.

The likely top pick in the 2024 NFL draft was transferring from Oklahoma after the departure of head coach Lincoln Riley. Following Riley to USC was the likely outcome from the start. But Wisconsin hired Bobby Engram as offensive coordinator in a move to lure the top quarterback — hoping the close family relationship plus Williams’ high school teammate Dean Engram moving to wide receiver would carry some weight.

Related: Wisconsin football slides in early class of 2025 team recruiting rankings

Williams committed to USC in the end. He went on to win a Heisman Trophy in 2022 and cement his place as the top pick in the NFL draft. The Badgers, meanwhile, fired Paul Chryst in October 2022 and are entering the second season with Luke Fickell at the helm.

With the NFL draft fast-approaching, pro comparison season is in full effect. ESPN’s Bill Connelly just made a comparison for Williams that can tie this entire story together: Wisconsin legend and nine-time NFL pro bowler Russell Wilson.

Connelly writes he “looked for NFL QBs from 2014-23 who (a) took at least 2.7 seconds per pass, (b) produced at least a 3.0 TD-to-INT ratio, (c) threw at least 25% of their passes at or behind the line, (d) completed at least 63% of their career passes and (e) averaged at least 11.5 yards per completion. That’s a pretty Williams-esque combination, and it gave us two of the best quarterbacks of the last decade” — Wilson and Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes.

The numbers check out on the surface. Williams is entering the draft after completing 68.6% of his passes for 3633 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2023 — plus 142 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.

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Wilson’s only season at Wisconsin included a completion percentage 72.8% for 3,175 yards, 33 touchdowns and four interceptions — plus 338 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.

Wilson’s situation has been a major topic of discussion over the last few years. But Williams’ career turning into his would be considered a huge success.

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Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire