The Caleb Williams Hot Takes Aren’t Slowing Down

The NFL Draft remains over two months away

Caleb Williams
Caleb Williams of the USC Trojans celebrates after defeating the Louisville Cardinals.
Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

Here are two things that we know to be true. The first is that Caleb Williams has had an outstanding collegiate career, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2022 for his accomplishments as USC’s quarterback. The other is that being a successful college quarterback doesn’t necessarily translate into NFL stardom. As Evan Bleier pointed out late last year, countless highly-rated college quarterbacks have underwhelmed upon their arrival in the NFL.

Still, recent mock drafts from CBS Sports and’s Eric Edholm both predict the Chicago Bears taking Williams with their number one pick. With his moment in the spotlight, it’s prompted plenty of discussion over what his professional future might look like — and whether he can successfully move from one high-stakes sporting milieu to another.

As Grayson Weir reported at BroBible, former Jets scout Daniel Kelly posted a lengthy critique of Williams on social media. Among the things that Kelly found fault with was Williams’s writing a profane message on his fingernails before a game. It’s worth noting that, as Business Insider reported at the time, Williams has also used his nails to include a reference to the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline — something he was praised for at the time.

Kelly later posted that his point of comparison for Williams would be Zach Wilson.

NFL’s 2021 QB Class Is a Cautionary Tale for the Class of ’24
Aside from Trevor Lawrence, the ’21 class is filled with backups and busts

What is perhaps most frustrating about Kelly’s take on Williams are the points where Kelly psychoanalyzes a man he has never met. “Watch his body language and his eyes. Listen to his tone. Watch how he carries himself,” Kelly writes. “His energy level is lower. He looks aloof at times.” We live in a golden age of DIY body language analysis — but, as Amelia Tait wrote at WIRED in 2021, that methodology can be far from accurate.

Are there reasons to be skeptical that Williams — or any football prospect — won’t be able to replicate his collegiate success in the NFL? Of course. But there are better ways to evaluate any player than drawing conclusions from their body language off the field.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.