If Williams to the Chicago Bears is a done deal, what does it mean for other QBs?

All signs point toward the Bears drafting USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick on April 25 at the NFL Draft. Williams was in Chicago this week having dinner with current members of the team and meeting with team leaders at Halas Hall on Wednesday.

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Bears could be the only team that Williams visits during this pre-draft process. That would be highly unusual, but then again Williams hasn’t been afraid to do things differently.

So what does all this mean for the rest of the draft — and the quarterbacks, in particular — if the Bears do indeed have Williams atop their board in sharpie?

After Williams, all eyes turn toward North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels. Beyond that, Michigan’s JJ McCarthy could also be in play as a top-10 draft pick.

With the Washington Commanders holding the No. 2 overall pick, they will have the option to take any remaining quarterback who they like. The New England Patriots are waiting at No. 3 and there are three quarterback-needy teams just outside the top 10 in Minnesota (with the 11th pick), Denver (12th) and Las Vegas (13th).

Maye has long been on the NFL’s radar. In 2022 he threw for 4,321 yards with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions and watched his draft stock skyrocket. A less successful 2023 season didn’t do anything to temper expectations for the North Carolina native.

Maye has tremendous size at 6-foot-4, 223 pounds. He also has a rocket arm and a great feel for the pocket. Maye was reportedly meeting with the Patriots on Friday. He likely will meet with the Commanders at some point, too.

Daniels also is expected to meet with both teams. He reportedly has a visit to New England scheduled for Monday.

Daniels was the surprise star of the 2023 college football season. He had a pretty good season in 2022 after transferring from Arizona State to LSU, but then he took things to another level in 2023. Daniels threw for more than 3,800 yards and rushed for more than 1,000, winning the 2023 Heisman Trophy along the way. At 6-4, 210 pounds, Daniels has good height, but his thin frame could scare some teams away.

For the Commanders, it’s going to come down to what first-year general manager Adam Peters and first-year coach Dan Quinn want in a quarterback. Offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury will be a pivotal voice in the room as well. If both quarterbacks have rave reviews from their teammates and coaches, it likely will come down to which style of QB the Commanders want.

And then there’s McCarthy. Some NFL analysts believe he belongs in the same conversation as Maye and Daniels, others aren’t so sure. McCarthy (6-2, 219) is undoubtedly a winner. He went 27-1 as the starting quarterback at Michigan and led the Wolverines to a national championship in 2023.

Those teams lurking outside the top 10 — the Vikings, Broncos and Raiders — could want McCarthy. Nobody really knows just how highly quarterback-needy teams value McCarthy. The Vikings, with two first-round picks, could be primed to trade up and make a big splash.

Could the Cardinals at No. 4 or the Chargers at No. 5 be willing to trade down? Would the Commanders or Patriots — two teams embarking on major rebuilds — consider it?

Bears general manager Ryan Poles doesn’t have to sweat it on draft night. He can pick whoever he wants with the No. 1 pick. For everybody else, there is going to be a lot of jockeying for position.

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