Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams is widely expected to be the No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL Draft, but the quarterback’s father issued a warning about that scenario Wednesday.
Carl Williams told GQ Magazine that the USC Trojans star could return to school next year if he doesn’t like the team with the No. 1 pick.
The funky thing about the NFL draft process is, he’d almost be better off not being drafted than being drafted 1st,” Carl Williams said. “The system is completely backwards. The way the system is constructed, you go to worst possible situation, worst possible team, worst organization in the league — because of their desire for parity — gets the 1st pick. So it’s the gift and the curse.”
“If there’s not a good situation…the truth is, he can come back to school”
— GQ Sports (@GQSports) September 6, 2023
It’s not the first time a star quarterback has threatened or outright refused to play for a team with the No. 1 pick. John Elway and Eli Manning both balked at playing for a team they didn’t like.
But Williams’ situation is a bit different. In the NIL era, he can make good money staying at USC and waiting for a different team. The downside to that is NIL money is not NFL-type money, and he’d be delaying his second, more lucrative NFL contract by a year.
NFL fans aren’t sure whether or not Williams has a good plan.
Do you think it's an anti-Cardinals thing? I took it more as a general statement but yeah, they're the favorites to hold that number 1 pick…
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 6, 2023
Caleb Williams staying at USC until the Cardinals stop tanking pic.twitter.com/n6dsSf7cqC
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) September 6, 2023
Considering the worst teams in the #NFL are the first to draft and the best players in college are the first to get drafted, I imagine student athletes like Travis (and Caleb Williams) will stay in college longer than they otherwise would have in a pre-NIL world..
— 🏈 Leonardo di Arnø ™ (@NFLbeatster) September 6, 2023
The money that they make through NIL is nothing compared to top QB money.
Burrow went to a historically terrible Bengals team.
Now if it was the Lions or Browns or Cardinals… I’d probably give it a second thought
— A University of Houston Fan (@NotWhoYouDream) September 6, 2023
think it’s going to depend on the organization drafting #1 and not the team if that makes sense. Still a huge benefit to get to that 2nd NFL contract ASAP. QB market will be close to $70m/year when Caleb is up for contract #2. But of you have no faith in the org you may wait
— HTX_Shishkabob (@A_V_Elam) September 6, 2023
For what reason? He will just go to the ‘next’ worst team & organization (whatever he means by that) the following year. The parity is a good thing.
— Patrick Greenfield (@PCGreenfield) September 6, 2023
Let the process play out .. its not college football where the top money schools get all the talent..
— chris baudean (@chris_baudean) September 6, 2023