Caleb Williams

Quarterback Caleb Williams Selected As First Pick In NFL Draft

Daniels sees the current renaissance of Black quarterbacks like Mahomes and Lamar Jackson as a net positive for the league

To the surprise of absolutely no one, University of Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams was taken by the Chicago Bears as the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft on April 25. 

The move that made it possible for the Bears to select Williams was pulled off ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft when they traded the number-one pick to the Carolina Panthers for wide receiver D.J Moore, first and second-round picks in 2023, a 2024 first-round pick, and a 2025 first-round pick.

The 2024 first-round pick turned into the number-one overall selection, which the Bears used to select Williams, who has been compared to Kansas City Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Tje Washington Commanders selected LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels with the second pick, choosing his upside over the size and arm strength of North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, who went third to the New England Patriots. The surprise pick of the first round involved the Atlanta Falcons, who despite signing quarterback Kirk Cousins to a four-year $180 million contract in free agency, selected University of Washington quarterback Michael Penix with the eighth overall pick. 

The surprise was not really about Penix, as Andscape notes. It had more to do with the Falcons selecting Penix despite assuring Cousins that a quarterback would not be taken until later in the draft. The three Black quarterbacks taken in the first round tied the most in draft history. 

The selection of Williams made him the seventh Black quarterback taken as the number-one overall pick in the NFL Draft. Williams, as he told reporters at a post-draft press conference, is focused on steady improvement and eventually winning an NFL championship.

Daniels is also motivated, and sees the current renaissance of Black quarterbacks like Mahomes and Lamar Jackson as a net positive for the league, saying in the post-draft press conference that he expects to come into the building and lead by example. 

“I was putting the [Commanders’] hat on. It’s a surreal moment just going in there and just knowing my role,” Daniels said. “I’ll be able to lead a grown men with families and stuff like that, but just be myself at the end of the day. That’s what they’re going to expect. They expect a hard worker.”

Daniels continued, “It’s dope. I’ve been watching them and watching those guys perform at a high level. Guys like C.J. Stroud, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts, those type of guys. And now being able to be a part of the family and be able to compete against them…it’s amazing to be a part of that.”