New England Patriots

Perry: Caleb Williams is ‘not locked in' as No. 1 overall pick

'The Bears ... are not dead-set on taking Caleb Williams.'

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If the New England Patriots select a quarterback with the No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the long-held belief is that they'll take either Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels after Caleb Williams goes No. 1 overall to the Chicago Bears.

Is it time to rethink that belief?

On a new Next Pats Podcast, our Patriots Insider Phil Perry shared some eye-opening information he's gleaned while at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis regarding Williams' draft stock.

"Caleb Williams is not everyone's No. 1 quarterback, which surprises me a little bit," Perry said.

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The general consensus on Williams is that he's an extremely talented football player whose only significant red flags involve off-field and maturity issues. But Perry spoke to evaluators in Indy who have found flaws in the USC product's on-field product, as well.

"There are football reasons as to why Caleb Williams might not be every scout's and every coach's favorite quarterback in this year's draft class," Perry said.

But how do the Bears view Williams? Are they one of the teams that has reservations about the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, to the point that they may consider passing on him at No. 1?

"The Bears, after having spoken to someone in Chicago, are not dead-set on taking Caleb Williams," Perry added. "It's not a guarantee. It is not locked in, and this week (at the combine) will matter for him for all the reasons we just mentioned.

"Who are you as a person? We can see what you did on the field. We can see how talented you are, we can see even how you handle adversity in game situations, but how do you interact with other human beings? It's such a key part of the job.

"This will be a big week for Caleb Williams convince the Bears that you're worthy of that No. 1 overall pick by how you interact with them in meetings."

Williams not going No. 1 overall would have massive implications for the Patriots and Washington Commanders, who own the No. 2 pick. Would Williams fall to Washington or even New England at No. 3? Would another team trade with the Bears to land the No. 1 pick and take Williams, leading Chicago to keep Justin Fields instead of exploring a deal with a team like the Patriots?

Maybe Williams convinces Chicago he's worthy of the No. 1 pick in this week's interview process. But his situation is at least worth monitoring, especially with the Patriots looming at No. 3.

Also in this episode:

  • What's going on at the combine?
  • Jerod Mayo meets with the media
  • Consensus views of the top three QBs
  • Could the Patriots get Justin Fields for a high third-round pick?
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