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Raiders’ QB options in 2024 draft: Caleb Williams’ stats, strengths

Updated April 7, 2024 - 3:40 pm

There hasn’t been much mystery at the top of this year’s NFL draft. Caleb Williams has been the presumptive top pick for much of the last two years.

Williams has done little to change people’s minds. He played the last two seasons at Southern California after transferring from Oklahoma and continued to thrive under coach Lincoln Riley.

The 2023 Heisman Trophy winner has too much talent to not be the top pick, even if he was inconsistent at times given some of his team’s struggles.

Williams is an obvious place to start as the Review-Journal looks at the top six quarterbacks in the draft given the Raiders’ need at that position. It just seems unlikely they’ll have a chance to grab him.

Caleb Williams

2023 stats

Played 12 games and completed 68.6 percent of his passes for 3,633 yards while throwing 30 touchdowns and five interceptions.

Strengths

Williams’ tape provides the perfect definition of “arm talent.”

He can generate strong velocity on his throws and is accurate, whether he’s on the move or in the pocket. Williams can throw just about every route in the book from any platform or arm angle. He excels at making plays on the move and is also good at manipulating the pocket to give himself time and space. He can make plays with his legs as well when the situation calls for it.

Weaknesses

Williams at times shows no interest in his first read, even if it appears open. He wants to be creative and make plays.

Some of that can be coached out of him, but that playing style is also what makes him so special.

Williams sometimes trust his natural gifts too much. He will make an off-balance throw even when there are opportunities to set his feet. He can be loose with the ball under pressure as well and took 33 sacks last season.

Some critics have also expressed concern about the emotion he showed on the field while playing on a USC squad that ranked 121st out of 133 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in scoring defense last season. Williams’ fashion choices have been nitpicked as well. Those feel like silly complaints for such a surefire prospect.

Why he fits the Raiders

The organization would like a long-term answer at quarterback. Williams has that type of potential.

He would be a slam dunk fit for the Raiders and would give them a game-changing player as well as a franchise leader.

Why he doesn’t fit

It’s going to be difficult enough for the Raiders to move up from the 13th pick into the top five. Getting the first overall pick seems impossible after Chicago traded quarterback Justin Fields to seemingly clear the way for Williams.

The concerns about Williams’ sacks and fumbles are also real. But ultimately, there’s not much to dislike.

What they’re saying

“There aren’t perfect players and Caleb is not a perfect player. Caleb is going to require some patience and assembly there, but the ability is off the charts and what he can be is something that’s extremely exciting.” — Daniel Jeremiah, NFL media draft analyst

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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