ARIZONA CARDINALS

Dad of USC’s Caleb Williams says bad situation could lead QB to skip 2024 NFL Draft

Sep 6, 2023, 10:06 AM | Updated: 2:39 pm

The father of top 2024 NFL Draft prospect Caleb Williams said the USC Trojans quarterback could return to school next season to avoid a “worst possible situation” to begin his pro career.

Carl Williams told GQ for a feature on his son that the drafting system is “completely backwards.”

He even cited current Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray as an example of getting a raw deal from going first overall.

“The way the system is constructed, you go to the worst possible situation,” Carl Williams told GQ. “The worst possible team, the worst organization in the league — because of their desire for parity — gets the first pick. So it’s the gift and the curse. I mean, I’ve talked to Archie Manning — his career was shot because he went to a horrible organization. I’ve talked to [USC head coach Lincoln Riley], and Kyler struggled because of where he was drafted. Baker [Mayfield] struggled mightily because of where he was drafted. The organizations matter.

“He’s got two shots at the apple,” Williams said of his son. “So if there’s not a good situation, the truth is, he can come back to school.”

Caleb Williams is coming off a Heisman campaign and enters his third college season viewed as the favorite to win the award as the best player in NCAA football again.

Through two games, Williams hasn’t done anything to hurt those chances by completing 74% of his passes for nine touchdowns to no interceptions.

The 6-foot-1 signal caller could be eyed by the Cardinals as the prize atop next year’s draft class despite their current roster being led by an ACL-rehabbing Murray.

Arizona is projected to finish at the bottom of the NFL and also owns the Houston Texans’ first-round pick in 2024.

And it’s notable that the Cardinals’ former head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, was hired to Riley’s USC staff as a senior offensive analyst. It’s a non-coaching role as a resource for coaches and players off the field.

How all of that context — including Arizona’s 17 games to play — will impact Williams’ decision to stay in college or turn pro following this year has yet to play out.

He told GQ that the draft is most curious to him because of the randomness.

“I’ve always been able to choose the team that I’ve played on,” Williams said. “And then everything’s been scheduled for me. I’ve had a plan for treatment, I’ve had a plan for workouts, I’ve had a plan for eating, I’ve had a plan for nutrition and things like that. Vitamins. A lot of shrimp and chicken breasts and fish.

“But now, going into this next part of my career, it’s weird ’cause it’s so uncertain. You don’t know anything. You can’t control anything but you and how you act. That’s honestly the weirdest part for me, is the uncertainty.”

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