HomeTrade RumorsUSC QB Caleb Williams: Commanders Might Be Involved

USC QB Caleb Williams: Commanders Might Be Involved

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While several items concerning the 2024 NFL Draft are still up in the air, the fact that USC quarterback Caleb Williams is considered a top prospect seems to have been set in stone for a little over a year now. With plenty of speculation leading into the new calendar year, Dan Graziano of ESPN reports that “there’s some thought around the league that Washington is very interested in Caleb Williams.”

Now, Williams is a popular bet to be the first name called in the draft as the No. 1 overall selection, a pick that the Commanders (4-11) are not currently in the position to make. That pick is currently owned by the Bears, who are in possession of the Panthers’ (2-13) first round selection. Carolina does not have the league’s worst record wrapped up, though. The Cardinals (3-12) could lose out and take the top spot should Carolina win a game. If Carolina wins out and Arizona wins a game, the Commanders and Patriots (4-11) could lose out and create a logjam at 4-13.

In the case that all four teams end up with the same record, the first tiebreaker is based on strength of schedule, with the team possessing the weakest strength of schedule getting the highest draft pick. Currently, the Commanders hold the weakest strength of schedule of those four teams, but with remaining games against the 49ers and Cowboys (the strongest remaining schedule in the league), that could change. Still, Washington holds an outside shot at possessing the top draft selection naturally.

If that doesn’t pan out, though, the Commanders could still attempt to acquire the pick in a trade. We saw the Panthers give up a bundle in order to obtain the top draft pick just last year. That bundle included a top player (D.J. Moore), two first-round picks (2023 & 2024), and two second-round picks (2023 & 2025). A similar bundle would be necessary in order for Washington to move up, though trading another top-five pick could help sweeten the pot on its own. The Commanders traded away a couple of top defenders in Montez Sweat and Chase Young before the deadline, so they’ve stocked up a few assets that they could deploy if necessary.

The bigger question comes with the team’s current quarterback situation. It was initially thought that the picks acquired in the above-mentioned trades would be used to build around second-year passer Sam Howell, whom most tabbed as the team’s next franchise quarterback. A month and a half later, though, and Howell has now been benched in two straight contests in favor of veteran Jacoby Brissett.

It’s become the popular opinion that Washington will be pursuing an addition to their quarterbacks room in the offseason. Many have called to watch the final two weeks of the regular season as an indicator for Howell’s future. Well, with Brissett set to start in Week 17, we may be seeing the end of Howell’s opportunity in Washington.

Enter Williams. A native of Washington, D.C., Williams has nearly guaranteed that he will be the top passer off the board, if not the top player off the board. It seems like, given the available options, the Commanders could certainly be all in on Williams given the chance. If Washington is unable to obtain the top pick and Williams is selected before they have a chance to draft him, North Carolina quarterback, and Howell’s former college teammate, Drake Maye would likely be the next top quarterback available in the draft, creating an interesting scenario in its own right.

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