Caleb Williams showcases talent at USC pro day

LOS ANGELES — In front of representatives for all 32 NFL teams, the former USC quarterback Caleb Williams — widely expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft — showed off his talent at his pro day on Wednesday.

“I just wanted to come out here and put on a show,” Williams said. “I think it went well.”

Teams on hand could see Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, do something he hasn't done since the end of the 2023 college football season: throw the ball.

At the NFL scouting combine earlier this month, Williams decided to forego the medical exam and measurements. He also did not throw or participate in any practice.

“I didn't feel like going out and throwing,” Williams said in Indianapolis. “I played 30-plus games, I believe. Go ahead and see me in real ball and see what I'm like as a competitor.”

Williams, a junior who declared for the draft on the last day he could, said he was taking medicals only for in-competition visits and didn't even consider the possibility that he wouldn't be a top overall draft pick. .

“It's not a thought in my mind,” Williams said. “I don't think I'm going to be No. 1. I've done all the hard work. I'm not thinking about Plan B.”

In his three seasons in college — one at Oklahoma and two at USC — Williams tallied 10,082 passing yards and 93 touchdown passes, while adding 27 rushing TDs.

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After a sophomore season in which Williams burst onto the scene with 4,537 passing yards and 42 touchdowns while leading USC to a College Football Playoff berth, he began to be discussed as a shoe-in for the top overall draft pick.

His potential as a franchise quarterback had scouts from every NFL team at USC on Wednesday, where Williams took his time arriving at a packed Allison Felix Field.

Upon his arrival, Williams went up to Chicago Bears wide receiver Keenan Allen and gave him a hug, before walking around the field to greet USC coaches and staff.

The Bears, who hold the No. 1 overall draft pick, sent a delegation that included general manager Ryan Boles and coach Matt Eberfluss and Allen.

“It's great to have the GM and the coach here to see me,” Williams said. “I've known Keenan for a year and played with him a few times, so I'm excited to be on the same team as him.”

At one point when Williams was warming up on a different field, Bolles and Allen were both sidelined to interact with Williams' parents, including his dad Carl.

Throughout the 50 or so attempts, Williams' timing and accuracy looked effortless, especially on throws down the field and on the move. Only four balls hit the ground in total. Later, Williams quickly identified two throws he missed, explaining why one needed too much time and the other was just behind his receiver.

After the session, Williams finished kicking a ball before going to congratulate USC coach Lincoln Riley and the Bears brass and Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters.

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Williams confirmed he met with the Bears in Los Angeles on Monday.

“I didn't think I had much to learn,” Williams said of their interaction. “Build a relationship.”

Williams said he's been playing at 217 and has been working on taking hits from bigger defenders than he faced in college.

Williams tries to maintain perspective while allowing the excitement of the moment to embrace him.

“This is what I've been waiting for and dreaming about and working towards,” Williams said. “I'm excited, I'm ready, I'm ready for things I'm not ready for.”

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