When Is Caleb Williams Draft-Eligible? 2024 NFL Draft Could Be His Time

With each jaw-dropping play, Caleb Williams' future as a premier NFL Draft prospect becomes more and more certain. When is he draft-eligible?

Each highlight prompts more and more onlookers to ask: When will USC quarterback Caleb Williams be eligible for the NFL Draft? That time is coming soon, and he could be in the QB1 mix when it comes.

When Is Caleb Williams Eligible for the NFL Draft?

The NFL Draft has always been on the radar for Williams. Right out of the gate, he was recognized as one of college football‘s top talents at quarterback.

Williams was a five-star recruit in the 2021 cycle and the top player at the QB position on multiple outlets. Drawn to Oklahoma by the presence of offensive guru Lincoln Riley, Williams soon usurped the starting spot from Spencer Rattler as a true freshman and quickly made his imprint on the CFB stage.

As a true freshman, Williams completed 136 of 211 passes for 1,912 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. When it was announced that Riley would be moving to USC, Williams traveled with him and became the Trojans’ starting QB.

At USC, Williams went from a budding star to a bonafide star, completing 296 of 448 passes for 4,075 yards, 37 touchdowns, and four picks in a groundbreaking 2022 campaign.

Williams’ statistics are undeniably impressive, and his on-field performance is equally awe-inspiring. Few college quarterbacks possess the same level of skill and natural talent as Williams. In recognition of his exceptional abilities, he has received both the Walter Camp and Maxwell Awards, and has been named a finalist for the prestigious 2022 Heisman Trophy.

Some people believe that Williams could be the number one quarterback pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, surpassing quarterbacks like Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, and Will Levis. However, Williams is not yet eligible for the NFL draft. The NFL requires players to have played at least two seasons in college before they can be eligible for the draft.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Watchlist

It’s unfortunate news for Williams, but he still has one more year of college play left before he’s eligible for the NFL Draft in 2024. With his impressive track record so far, it’s likely that Williams will opt to declare early if he continues to perform at his current level.

Williams Could Be the Top Quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft QB class is already taking shape — and it’s set to be an incredibly exciting group, with Williams positioned at the top.

While there are still a few declaration decisions to be made, the likes of Bo Nix, Cameron Ward, and Rattler could potentially further strengthen the 2024 group if they choose to return. However, none of these returnees will affect Williams’ current position as a QB1 candidate.

Williams possesses a rare combination of skills that are highly valued in today’s NFL. He has natural talent, the ability to create plays, and a strong arm with good flexibility. His offensive skills have been well-documented during his time at USC, and his tenacity and toughness are qualities that NFL coaches will surely appreciate.

It is premature to declare anyone as the top quarterback for the 2024 NFL Draft since there is still nearly a full season left to play. However, it is reasonable to expect that Williams will be among the contenders. Other quarterbacks who are currently ranked highly on the 2024 QB board include Drake Maye from North Carolina, J.J. McCarthy from Michigan, and Michael Penix Jr. from Washington.

Every class brings breakout potential, and 2024 will have plenty of that. Quinn Ewers will look to show additional growth at Texas, while Kyle McCord has taken over as Stroud’s successor at Ohio State. Meanwhile, at Kansas State, Will Howard has emerged as a potential sleeper.

We’ve seen several risers throughout 2023 already. Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders is atop that list.

There will be dozens of names to keep tabs on in the 2024 NFL Draft QB class, but none of this changes the book on Williams.

A select few will be in the QB1 conversation. Williams will be one of them, and his résumé already looks very strong.

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