NFL analysts make case against Caleb Williams for No. 1 pick

ESPN analysts Louis Riddick and Dan Orlovsky explained why they would take this over Caleb Williams with the first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

NFL Combine
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The Chicago Bears provided a major answer to a question this offseason -- are they keeping Justin Fields as their starting quarterback, or would they use the No. 1 pick on his replacement? The Bears traded Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers for a conditional 2025 sixth-round pick. With that, the expectation is that the Bears would use the No. 1 pick on USC's Caleb Williams.

For the better part of two years, Williams was expected to be the top quarterback in the entire 2024 class and the presumptive No. 1 overall pick. That remains the case. But, this quarterback class is deep, and there are some analysts who believe there are some prospects that are better than Williams.

On Thursday, ESPN analyst and former Philadelphia Eagles director of player personnel appeared on Get Up and discussed Jayden Daniels' Pro Day at LSU on Wednesday. Riddick said he was a fan of Daniels beforehand, but after his Pro Day, the analyst said that the LSU star should be the "QB1" of the draft.

“This is a guy who is locked in. For me, I said a couple weeks ago I thought this guy should be QB No. 1, but I just wanted to see him in person. After looking at him in person, there’s no doubt in my mind,” said Riddick, h/t On3Sports.

Louis Riddick, Dan Orlovsky say Jayden Daniels should be the QB1 of 2024 NFL Draft over Caleb Williams

Riddick was detailed in his evaluation of Daniels. When talking about the 2023 Heisman winner's ability under center, Riddick said it reminded him of former Ohio State star and current Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud.

“Now, as far as his movement, the way he threw it short, intermediate, deep; he is as fluid as any quarterback you’ve seen come out," said Riddick, h/t On3Sports. "He reminded me a lot yesterday of C.J. Stroud when I went to his pro day. The ball absolutely explodes out of his hand, tight spiral, he can change speeds, change arm angles. He can put the ball right where it needs to be put both horizontally and vertically.”

Former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who has made it no secret in recent weeks that he believes the Bears should draft Williams first-overall, backed Riddick.

“I just want: who throws it the best? Like, who throws it the best in games? What guy makes the best decisions on a consistent basis? Who goes to the right place with the football on that consistent basis? Who throws the ball away from the defenders on a consistent basis in time, in rhythm, with anticipation? It’s Jayden.”

No quarterback raised his stock more in the past couple of years than Daniels. The quarterback transferred over from Arizona State to LSU. After a strong 2022 season, Daniels put himself on the board as a top quarterback in the entire nation. It certainly helped that Daniels was able to put up video game numbers with his throwing and rushing abilities, especially late in the season. Ultimately, it helped him edge out Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. for the 2023 Heisman Trophy.

In 12 games this past season, Daniels threw for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns, and four interceptions while completing 72.2 percent of his passes, while running for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on 135 carries.

As is the case throughout the NFL Draft process, there is so much smokescreen being thrown around. Who knows, maybe the Bears like another quarterback over Williams. Maybe it's Daniels. We won't know until Roger Goodell steps up to the podium in Detroit, Mich. on Apr. 25 and announces who the Bears will take. One thing that is a safe assumption is that Daniels will be a high first-round pick.

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