Perry: Why Pats shouldn't trade up for Caleb Williams

Perry: Why Pats shouldn't trade up for Caleb Williams originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

While the latest reports hint that the New England Patriots are considering trading down from their No. 3 pick in the 2024 Draft, NBC Sport's Boston's Phil Perry isn't in favor of the contrary -- trading up.

With the biggest need in New England very obviously being a quarterback, USC's Caleb Williams leads the current draft class and is highly expected to be the first off the board. Despite the clear talent Williams has, Perry is against trading up to take the so-called best quarterback in the draft for one major reason -- turnovers.

"Remember who was compared to Patrick Mahomes a few years ago? The 'Mormon Mahomes' we called him -- Zach Wilson," Perry said on NBC Sports Boston's Arbella Early Edition. "Zach Wilson got all sorts of comps to Patrick Mahomes for the exact same reasons, but there's one massive issue I have with Caleb Williams' game -- it has nothing to do with his makeup or his personality -- that isn't anything like Patrick Mahomes does: he turns it over."

Noting that Williams had 33 fumbles over the last three years of his college career, 16 of which came just last season, Perry insinuates that the USC QB is not all that he is made out to be. Ignoring the red flags around his personality, Williams' stats just haven't warranted the hype he's received. The 2022 Heisman winner completed 68.6 percent of his passes last year for 3,633 yards and 30 touchdowns, but as Perry mentioned, also logged five interceptions and 16 fumbles for a combined 21 turnovers across 12 games.

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To put Williams' turnover numbers into perspective, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was benched and made the third-string after logging 12 interceptions and two fumbles for a combined 14 turnovers in 11 games. Backup quarterback Bailey Zappe also logged fewer turnovers than Williams last season, throwing nine interceptions and a fumble for a combined 10 turnovers across six games.

"Caleb Williams wasn't able to [play against the best competition week after week]," Perry added of Williams' Pac-12 competition. "[Compared to] someone like Jayden Daniels, who played in the SEC and had a good game against Alabama before getting hurt. I understand the talent -- it is special -- I would struggle to make that kind of move to give up those kind of assets [at least the second and third-round picks this year] -- I'm out."

With UNC's Drake Maye and LSU's Daniels likely falling after Williams, the talent pool for quarterbacks is just too deep to give up any additional needed draft picks. The Patriots essentially have a clean slate with Belichick gone, a hefty amount of money to play with in free agency, and numerous expiring contracts, so New England needs to utilize the draft to build for the future.

"There are too many holes on this roster, there's too much quarterbacking talent at other spots in this draft to give up everything to go get [Williams] when there are maybe better players available to you at No. 3 where you already are," Perry said of why the Patriots should not trade up.

As it stands, the most likely quarterback to fall to New England at No. 3 would be Daniels.