QB Prospect Notes: Williams, Patriots, Commanders, Giants

Caleb Williams is still expected to hear his name called first during next week’s draft, but the USC quarterback didn’t make the best impression on teams during the pre-draft process. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Williams’ interviews with teams were described as “good, not great” and “just OK.”

As Fowler notes, Williams declined medical exams and only did a handful of interviews, where he didn’t show the same poise and preparation as his fellow QB prospects. Naturally, some teams assumed this was a “byproduct of being a player who knows he’s going No. 1.” While Williams’ pre-draft strategy wasn’t considered a personality red flag by scouts, one AFC executive believes Williams left the door open for the Bears to pivot.

“I don’t think he’s had a great spring,” the executive told Fowler. “He’s still going first. That’s pretty much a done deal. But while he was a no-brainer three months ago, there’s at least a conversation now. Even still, I think he’s a smart kid, a good kid. He just knows where he’s going.”

Perhaps partly due to Williams’ offseason showing, there are some coaches who have actually graded LSU’s Jayden Daniels over the USC QB, per Adam Caplan of ProFootballNetwork.com. Of course, the only opinion that matters belongs to the Bears, but this recent grading adjustment at least leads Caplan to surmise that Daniels will be selected ahead of North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

While Maye is an underdog to be selected in the top-two, it’s no longer a guarantee that he’s even chosen with the third-overall pick. As Albert Breer of SI.com notes, there’s a “healthy debate” in New England between Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. While there’s still a chance the Patriots trade out of the No. 3 spot in pursuit of future picks, Breer believes owner Robert Kraft “views this as a rare chance to get a quarterback at this level.” The organization has certainly made it clear they’re eyeing all of the top-tier prospects, as the Patriots have met with Daniels, Maye, and McCarthy.

Washington is currently sitting with the second-overall pick, and they’ve been equally active in scouting QB prospects. Interestingly, the team will be hosting all of Daniels, Maye, McCarthy, and Washington’s Michael Penix for their top-30 visits at the same time, per Breer. This stems from GM Adam Peters‘ experience from San Francisco, where the 49ers would bring in groupings of prospects to see how they interact with peers.

With the Cardinals and Chargers likely out of the running for a top QB prospect, the Giants are next in line at the position behind Chicago, Washington, and New England. There’s been recent buzz that the Giants could look to move up (per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post) or even move back (per Fowler, via WBG84), but either way, it’s pretty clear the organization is targeting a signal-caller.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic believes the Giants are high enough on Maye that they’d swing a trade up the draft board. The writer also believes the organization isn’t enamored with McCarthy, perhaps necessitating a trade back if the Michigan QB is there at No. 6. If the Giants do end up trading back, Duggan could see a scenario where the team is actively pursuing Penix or Oregon’s Bo Nix in the back half of the first round.

View Comments (28)