Caleb Williams NFL Draft status: USC QB says it could be ‘game-time decision’ on whether to stay in college or go pro

USC quarterback Caleb Williams was among the most highly touted quarterbacks ahead of the 2023 season.

While he’s no longer considered a lock to be the first quarterback off the board the way he was for the majority of the season, he’s still expected to be one of the first players off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Based on Williams’ comments lately and throughout the season, though, it seems not out of the realm of possibility that he could forgo the draft for one more year. 

MORE: College football QB rankings after Rivalry Week: Where Williams stands

Here’s the latest on his impending decision:

Caleb Williams NFL Draft status

Williams and the Trojans finished out what was expected to be another highly successful season in a flat manner, falling unceremoniously to UCLA to end the regular season with a 7-5 record.

The usually confident quarterback remained non-committal on the draft, referring to it as a “game-time decision” in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in which he also acknowledged he “still has a lot to get better at.”

“I’ve never been in this situation, where I’m 7-5 and there are no playoff hopes at the end of the season,” Williams said. “I’m dealing with it emotionally, dealing with it spiritually and physically. It’s been one of the most important years I think I’ve had. It’s tricky.”

Williams’ father Carl has spoken openly about the situation surrounding his son and the draft, saying to GQ back in September that Caleb had “two shots at the apple” and that he may return to school “if there’s not a good situation” in the NFL immediately on the horizon.

MORE: Updated 2024 NFL Draft order

Caleb Williams NFL mock draft

While there are some expecting Williams could fall (though he’s still an early first-rounder regardless), SN’s Vinnie Iyer had Williams as the No. 1 overall pick in his most recent mock draft.

That had him going to Arizona at the time, though the Bears are now back in control of the top pick thanks to their trade with the 1-10 Panthers.

“The Cardinals should once again trade down if they end up with No. 1, because they’re likely locked into committing to Kyler Murray with a contract that makes him difficult to move,” Iyer wrote. “Coming out of the same Lincoln Riley system as a QB lacking ideal size (albeit bigger than Murray), Williams doesn’t represent enough of a rookie pivot. Williams won’t win the Heisman again after his stellar 2022, but despite the recent losses, he’s still doing the big and little things to warrant him going off the board to the QB-needy team wanting to get as aggressive as the Panthers did for Bryce Young.”

Caleb Williams stats

Here’s a look at how Williams has performed throughout the 2023 season statistically. Despite a strong overall performance, Williams will not repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner with the race set to come down to Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

Game Comp Att Pass Yds TD INT
vs. UCLA 31 42 384 1 1
at Oregon 19 34 291 1 0
vs. Washington 27 35 312 3 0
at Cal 23 40 369 2 0
vs. Utah 24 34 256 0 0
at Notre Dame 23 37 199 1 3
vs. Arizona 14 25 219 1 0
at Colorado 30 40 403 6 1
at Arizona State 20 31 322 3 0
vs. Stanford 19 21 281 3 0
vs. Nevada 18 24 319 5 0
vs. SJSU 18 25 278 4 0
Season total 266 388 3,633 30 5

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