Former New York Jets scout warns NFL teams about drafting Caleb Williams, suggests they think twice
Caleb Williams has been the consensus number-one QB prospect for most of the 2023 calendar year. He is also predicted to be a top 5 pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
His physical traits like his speed and body control are very good. His arm strength and ability to improvise and extend plays are also primary reasons why he is so high on many NFL draft boards.
The debate about the Bears QB situation has ignited heated discussion online. Especially when Chicago Bears legend Brain Urlacher threw his hat into the Caleb Williams ring. Urlacher claimed the Bears should draft Williams and trade Fields. There are valid points for keeping Justin Fields and drafting Williams. But no matter what the Bears do, the fanbase will be split.
A former NFL scout says to slow down before deciding to draft Caleb Williams. The pick may not be as much of a home run as originally thought.
The former scouts’ evaluation says the issue with Williams isn’t any physical trait
Former New York Jets Scout Daniel Kelly posted his analysis of Caleb Williams on Twitter. Kelly focuses on the mental aspects of Caleb Williams. Kelly thinks Williams isn’t ready for the NFL. He also says Williams is the most “mentally fragile,” player he has ever evaluated.
“This time of the year is about teams doing background work and trying to get inside prospects’ heads. This is part of the evaluation process.
I believe any team considering Caleb Williams needs to think about the high risk from the neck up based on Williams actions, conduct and words that he’s demonstrated.
From painting his fingernails with obscenities aimed at opponents to refusing to shaking hands with Utah and refusing to speak to reporters after the UCLA game, Williams has given NFL owners and decision makers a lot to talk about.” – Daniel Kelly
Kelly goes on to say that the mental and emotional “issues,” that Caleb Williams has been showing are all things that point to him being set up for significant struggles adapting to NFL life.
“He’s much closer to Johnny Manziel than Patrick Mahomes on the spectrum. I mean that with respect and sensitivity, but that’s what I would say if I was a scout sitting in the pre-draft meetings.
What I find incredible is that more people aren’t talking about this.
Do we not care about him?
We witnessed Caleb Williams having a mental breakdown right before our eyes crying uncontrollably in his mother’s arms. To me —as a former NFL Scout, he’s the most mentally fragile player I’ve ever evaluated, quarterback or otherwise.” – Daniel Kelly
Kelly is pointing out that Williams will need development in his mental game as well as his physical game in order to become a top NFL QB.
Williams appears to not be ready for the stress and expectations of being a NFL QB, according to Kelly. Not to mention the added weight of being the number one pick expected to turn a franchise around. This is not only a hurdle for whoever drafts him, but for Williams himself.
“The mental pressure and expectations will be unbearable from day one. Training camp will look more like a rock concert. Every practice throw will be followed by the paparazzi. Completion percentages in practices, all of it will become a public spectacle.
The expectations are he’s Superman, but in reality he’s 22 years old.
Statistically and on game film Williams regressed in 2023. This is not headed in the right direction
I get team fan bases wanting to win and the mainstream media feeding off that hope, but underneath that we have to care about Caleb Williams as a person more than anything. I personally feel for the young man.
He’s in an impossible situation.
Team owners and front office personnel have to consider this high risk.” – Daniel Kelly
This doesn’t mean developing Williams mental game is impossible. It has been done before with other QBs and it can be done again. It will take time and investment from whatever team drafts Williams, but it can be done.
Kelly isn’t telling people to completely avoid Williams, just to think about the extra work it will take to make sure he succeeds.
Kelly was one of the only scouts to accurately evaluate a player who established himself as one of the NFL’s best QBs in 2023
Daniel Kelly has a solid eye for NFL talent. Look no further than the 2022 NFL Draft for a great example. Prior to the 2022 NFL Draft, Daniel Kelly accurately evaluated 49ers QB Brock Purdy.
Kelly had Purdy as the 2nd best QB in the draft that year. Purdy famously was mister irrelevant, picked with the final pick in the draft.
— FIRST ROUND MOCK (@firstroundmock) January 29, 2024
Purdy has now led the 49ers to two NFC Championships in a row. Purdy led the 49ers to a 17-point comeback versus the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship, punching the 49ers ticket to the Superbowl.
Analysts and fans alike continue to claim Brock Purdy is a product of Kyle Shanahan’s system, and wouldn’t be good on any other team. The fact is that Purdy was a major contributor in the 49ers comeback win in the NFC Championship. Purdy made a handful of accurate and clutch throws, as well as big runs to help the 49ers win. In 2023 Purdy proved to be one of the bet quarterbacks in the NFL.
Kelly’s accurate analysis of Purdy give more credibility to his analysis of Caleb Williams. Kelly isn’t an armchair GM, he has experience in evaluating college players.
What’s the main takeaway from all this?
Daniel Kelly has a good eye for NFL talent. His accurate analysis of Brock Purdy is nothing to scoff at. And his evaluation of Williams should be taken into account when thinking about drafting Williams.
With a good team around him and good leaders to coach him, Caleb Williams could still become what everyone hopes he can be.
Kelly’s analysis comes from a place of concern for Williams. Everyone wants to see the young man to succeed in the NFL. Kelly suggests, in order to help Williams develop, it is important for his potential team to acknowledge and plan for the maturing he still needs to do.
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