NFL Draft 2024 Rumors: Caleb Williams Trade Up Fascinates Some Commanders Insiders

Mike LogoFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 10, 2024

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans passes the ball during the first half of a game against the UCLA Bruins at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

There is reportedly some interest within the Washington Commanders organization in potentially trading up to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft to select USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, some Commanders executives are “fascinated” by the idea of going up to get Williams, but they understand that if the Chicago Bears decide they want Williams at No. 1 overall, there may be nothing they can do.

Even if the Bears take Williams first overall, the Commanders would have some excellent quarterback options at No. 2 in North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels.

Washington raised eyebrows last week when it hired Kliff Kingsbury to be the offensive coordinator under new head coach Dan Quinn.

Kingsbury is perhaps best known for being the head coach at Texas Tech from 2013 to 2018 and head coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2019 to 2022, but more recently he was USC’s senior offensive analyst in 2023.

That meant Kingsbury got to work closely with Williams last season, so his hiring created speculation that the Commanders are targeting the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner.

While Williams may be on Washington’s radar, Graziano cautioned that hiring Kingsbury doesn’t make it a slam dunk.

After all, Maye has experience playing in an Air Raid-type system similar to Kingsbury’s, and Daniels could thrive under Kingsbury as well since his dual-threat game is similar to that of Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

Since the end of the 2022 season, Williams has been widely viewed as the likely No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft, and that may still be the case.

In 2022, Williams was a dominant force, throwing for 4,537 yards, 42 touchdowns and five interceptions, while also rushing for 382 yards and 10 scores.

He numbers dropped off a bit in 2023, but he was still among the best, throwing for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and five picks, and rushing for 142 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Commanders have not had a quarterback as dynamic as Williams since Robert Griffin III in his rookie season in 2012 prior to tearing his ACL.

Because of that, there may understandably be a ton of support in the organization to get him, but if the Bears are dead set on picking him or ask too much in exchange for Washington moving up one spot, the Commanders don’t have to be locked into the idea of taking Williams.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that it would take a historic offer for Chicago to move the No. 1 overall pick, with one source saying the offer would have to be “crazy” in order for the Bears to trade down.

Assuming the Bears stand pat at No. 1 and take Williams, both Maye and Daniels are excellent prospects as well, and either of them could potentially prove to be the best quarterback in the draft over time ahead of Williams.

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