Bears select quarterback Williams with first pick of NFL draft

By Sports Desk April 25, 2024

The Chicago Bears believe they've found their franchise quarterback.

In what had been expected for months, the Bears selected Southern California's Caleb Williams with the first overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft on Thursday.

Williams had widely been viewed as a generational quarterback and the most complete QB prospect in decades.

He now arrives in Chicago to take over a franchise that has been starving for an elite signal-caller.


He joins the Bears after staring at USC, where he won the 2022 Heisman Trophy as the top collegiate player in the United States.

After throwing for 4,537 yards with 42 touchdowns and five interceptions in 14 games in 2022, he threw for 3,633 yards with 30 TDs and five picks in 12 games last year.

In his two seasons with the Trojans, he completed 67.5 per cent of his passes and averaged 9.20 yards per attempt.

Williams is the total package – possessing exceptional arm strength and overall athleticism, able to make plays with his arm and his legs. Groomed from a young age to be pro quarterback, Williams processes opposing defences at a high level, making good decisions with his reads and throwing an accurate, deep ball.

The Bears had zeroed in on Williams after meeting with him in Los Angeles in March, followed by his visit to Chicago's practice facility earlier this month. The Bears were the only NFL team Williams visited, and the only quarterback Chicago hosted, making it blatantly obvious the team was going to draft him first.

The Bears also made it clear they were in the market for a quarterback after trading Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers in mid-March.

Fields was the 11th overall pick of the 2021 draft, and though he was well liked by his team-mates and the fanbase and had the ability for dazzling, highlight-reel plays, he was an uneven passer and was unable to elevate Chicago's offence.

The Bears ranked 27th in passing offence with an average of 182.1 yards per game in 2023, while going 7-10.

Williams steps into a solid situation with Chicago, as he'll team with new running back D'Andre Swift, a pair of proven wide receivers in DJ Moore and off-season pickup Keenan Allen, and has the luxury of joining a team with a formidable defence.

The Bears' trade for Moore last off-season helped the franchise draft first overall for the first time since 1947.

Chicago traded away last year's top pick to the Carolina Panthers for Moore and four draft picks – one of which turned out to be the No. 1 pick they used to draft Williams.

Related items

  • Bengals wide receiver Higgins to sign franchise tag Bengals wide receiver Higgins to sign franchise tag

    After months of speculation regarding where Tee Higgins would play in the 2024 NFL season, the star wide receiver will officially remain with the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Higgins will sign his franchise tag with the Bengals on Saturday, and is expected to be present when the team begins training camp next month.

    The signing was first reported by Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and later confirmed by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

    Higgins had the franchise tag placed on him by the Bengals on February 26, and then asked to be traded a few weeks later.

    In early April, however, he then said he intended to play for Cincinnati in 2024.


    By signing the tag, which will pay him $21.8million in salary for the upcoming season, Higgins and the Bengals have until July 15 to work out a multi-year deal.

    Higgins is coming off an injury-marred 2023 season, as he was limited to just 12 games due to ailments to his hamstring and ribs.

    He finished the year with 42 catches for 256 yards and five touchdowns after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2021 and 2022.

    The Bengals reached the AFC conference championship game in those two seasons before finishing last in the AFC South in 2023 with a 9-8 record.

    A second-round pick by Cincinnati in 2020, the 25-year-old Higgins has 257 career receptions for 3,684 yards and 24 touchdowns in 58 games in his first four pro seasons.

    The Bengals are scheduled to open training camp on July 26.

  • Jaguars, QB Lawrence agree to 5-year, $275 million extension Jaguars, QB Lawrence agree to 5-year, $275 million extension

    Quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars have agreed to a five-year, $275 million extension that includes $200 million guaranteed, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

    With a $55 million average salary, Lawrence ties Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow for the most in NFL history.

    Detroit’s Jared Goff, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers are the other quarterbacks making at least $50 million per year.

    Lawrence’s deal is surpassed in total guaranteed and fully guaranteed money only by Burrow and Cleveland’s Deshaun Watson.

    The 24-year-old Lawrence is entering the fourth season of his rookie deal and the Jaguars exercised his fifth-year option earlier this offseason.

    The first overall pick in the 2021 draft, Lawrence has completed 63.8 percent of his passes in 50 regular season starts for 11,770 yards with 58 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. He has compiled a 21-31 record as a starter in three seasons, including 1-1 in the playoffs. He led the Jaguars to an AFC South title and a playoff win in 2022, earning a Pro Bowl selection.

    Jacksonville and Lawrence got off to an 8-3 start last season and appeared to be legitimate contenders in the AFC, but the Jaguars lost five of their final six games and failed to reach the playoffs after spending three months atop the AFC South.

    Lawrence missed the first game of his career against Carolina on December 31 due to a shoulder injury, a 26-0 victory for the Jaguars.

    He also missed significant practice time because of other injuries: a sprained left knee in Week 6, a sprained right ankle in Week 13 and a concussion in Week 15.

  • Patriots to retire number 12 shirt and build statue in Brady's honour Patriots to retire number 12 shirt and build statue in Brady's honour

    The New England Patriots will retire the number 12 shirt and build a statue in honour of iconic quarterback Tom Brady.

    Brady was inducted into the Patriots' Hall of Fame on Wednesday, having led them to six Super Bowl titles during his 20-year stint with the franchise.

    The three-time MVP is the all-time regular-season leader in pass attempts (12,050), completions (7,753), passing yards (89,214) and touchdown passes (649) in the NFL.

    Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the statue would be placed outside the franchise's Hall of Fame to recognise Brady "not as the greatest in franchise history, but as the greatest in all of NFL history".

    "I am eternally grateful. I am Tom Brady. And I am a Patriot," Brady said at the ceremony at the Gilette Stadium.

    Former Patriots coach Bill Belichick added: "Thank you for all that you've done for us. Thank you for all you've done for me. And thank you for the example and motto you've been for all of us on a daily basis for 20 years."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.