In March 2014, former ESPN analyst and Pittsburgh Steelers star famously predicted that Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel would be a bust. Now, 10 years later, he is forewarning teams, notably the Chicago Bears, that USC quarterback Caleb Williams is of the same mold.
Hoge did acknowledge on NBC Sports Chicago that Williams was a talented kid, but had several questions about his game and style of play, which aren't out of the ordinary as they have been brought up time and time again during his career in Southern California.
Merill Hoge didn't mince words when providing his thoughts on USC quarterback Caleb Williams
In fairness to Williams, the USC quarterback didn't have the same off-the-field issues that Manziel brought with him when he came into the NFL, but the question of character is a big concern. Additionally, Merril Hoge is more often than not, spot on with his analysis. He will even praise players when he feels that they are bound to be stars, see his thoughts on Khalil Mack over Jadeveon Clowney.
Williams has liked the post of what Hoge had to say, and that's his own choice. At the same time, where Williams lands will be the main focus, it could be Chicago or even Washington, where Williams starred as a high school phenom at Gonzaga College Prep. The time between February and April is quite short and the decision is important for the Bears especially.
Should Chicago choose to move off Justin Fields, they have to be certain that the quarterback they choose, whether it be Williams or UNC's Drake Maye, LSU's Jayden Daniels, or Michigan's JJ McCarthy, is the right choice to build the franchise around. It's probably worth listening to Merril Hoge. If he likes a player, normally it's a good choice, else, it's best to be cautious.