Caleb Williams ‘ready’ to be taken No. 1 in NFL draft and help Bears restore past glory

The NFL draft is one of the most intriguing events on the sports calendar because of the unpredictability. Which teams will select certain players and at what points over the three days? Will a franchise trade up to secure a coveted prospect or trade back to add future picks?

Anything and everything is on the table at 8 p.m. ET Thursday in Detroit. Well, except for Caleb Williams.

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The USC quarterback is all but guaranteed to go No. 1 overall to the Chicago Bears. While other players will stress about being picked, he knows he’ll wait only a few minutes to hear NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell read his name at the podium. He’ll then walk onstage, shake hands, take photos and start preparing to become the team’s savior.

“It’s a big moment, but I’ll definitely be happy,” Williams told the “TODAY” show in an interview that aired Thursday. “It’s a long time for an even longer time to come. So I’m ready. I’m ready for the moment and ready to be welcomed onstage in my suit and have a blast.”

Asked whether he is going to tear up during such an emotional moment, Williams said no.

“I don’t think I am, because I’ve kind of gone over it multiple times in my head, just like I did the Heisman,” he said. “I didn’t cry at the Heisman [ceremony]. Normally I cry after losses and big, big championship games and things like that. … But all the emotions on the field that you see, I probably won’t have those. Those are normally a bunch of adrenaline, a bunch of 60 minutes of kicking somebody’s tail.”

Caleb Williams against the UCLA Bruins on Nov. 18. Ryan Kang / Getty Images file

Gavin Morris, USC’s assistant athletic director and director of player development, agreed Williams will be cool, calm and collected.

The NFL draft “is no different than being down four [points] with 1:20 left on the clock and you have to drive,” Morris said. “Some people are built differently.”

Williams is the consensus top prospect after a dominant college career at USC and Oklahoma. Last season he threw for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and only five interceptions. The previous season he won the Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football, with 4,075 yards, 37 touchdowns and just four interceptions over 13 games.

Williams, a Washington, D.C., native, has drawn comparisons to Kansas City Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes for his arm strength, touch and instincts. When a play breaks down, he doesn’t get rattled. He thrives in the chaos better than any other quarterback prospect in years.

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