Following Southern Cal's most recent loss to the rival UCLA Bruins, quarterback Caleb Williams didn't speak to the media, instead preferring to take in the defeat his own way. This is the second time Williams post-game actions have received attention.
Williams is a surefire first-round pick, and is rumored to be the top-rated quarterback available in the 2024 NFL Draft class. However, recent reports could have an impact on how Williams is viewed heading into the draft process. Per Pro Football Talk, Williams reportedly is seeking ownership stake in whatever team selects him. However, it should be noted that this isn't even possible under NFL rules, which should dispel that rumor immediately.
"So despite what you've probably seen on social media, there is nothing to see here with Caleb Williams. It's aggregators on social media either intentionally misleading or blindly missing the point of a report that is now three months old," FanSided's Cody Williams wrote at the time.
Is Caleb Williams hurting his NFL Draft stock?
It should be noted that teams often try to tank a prospect's draft stock in hopes of selecting them later in the first round. It was a tactic used on Justin Fields, CJ Stroud and countless others. It's unlikely to work on Williams, who has been the de-facto No. 1 prospect for seemingly two years. Still, this didn't stop NFL insider Ian Rapoport from taking his shot at the USC QB for avoiding the media on Saturday.
By comparing Williams to Bengals franchise QB Joe Burrow, Rapoport is seemingly suggesting that the USC product has a lot to learn before April. It's safe to assume Williams did not handle his defeat to UCLA well. USC's season hasn't gone as planned, and being frustrated with that fact is okay.
As for whether Caleb will be able to handle the responsibility that comes with being the No. 1 overall pick next April, it's far too soon to judge him.