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NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah sees similarities between Caleb Williams and Patrick Mahomes

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The NFL offseason is underway, and the Kansas City Chiefs front office is working to build another Super Bowl contender as the team seeks a three-peat next season. The many NFL Draft prospects and potential free agency moves will help mold the 2024 roster, and it gets fully underway this week.

NFL Media’s top draft analyst, Daniel Jeremiah, recently held his annual conference call with media members before the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

During the call, he noted similarities between the potential top pick in April’s draft, USC quarterback Caleb Williams, and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

“It’s a good quarterback draft,” Jeremiah explained. “Caleb, to me, is a top guy, and when you look at him specifically and his evaluation, trying to stack him up with guys from the past, I think just talent, if we’re just looking at pure talent, you can put him up there with really any of the guys we’ve had just in terms of arm strength, athleticism, the creativity that he has, the play-making ability that he has.

“Now, he is not as clean or as polished as some guys we have had over the last few years. Obviously, (C.J.) Stroud was kind of ready-made and just came out there and hit the ground running. I think there’s still some more growth and some cleaning up to do with Caleb’s game, but it’s pretty special talent-wise.”

Williams won the 2022 Heisman Trophy and garnered multiple accolades during his time with the Trojans, showing plenty of upside heading into the draft. He is reportedly not expected to throw at the combine but is still a lock in many analysts’ eyes as the top overall pick.

“I’ve made the comment about him, and you’re going to have Patrick Mahomes’ name come up,” Jeremiah continued. “Look, you don’t want to compare somebody to the best player on the planet, but just in terms of how he kind of plays with the creativity and a little flare, and in all the different types of throws he can make in terms of driving the ball, layering the ball, extending plays, all those things, there are some similarities there.

“Pat needed some time to clean some things up and got a chance to sit for a year. Obviously, I don’t think Caleb is going to be afforded the same luxury in that department, but I think you can put a plan in place where you put more on his plate the longer that he goes.”

Mahomes was notably selected by the Chiefs in 2017, serving primarily as his rookie season’s backup to starter Alex Smith. The two-time league MVP credited his experience as the backup as a vital reason for his immediate success as the starter.

“Mahomes’ situation at Texas Tech I thought was very similar to Caleb’s situation at USC,” Jeremiah said. “I think people have to get it out of their head comparing Caleb and having in your mind that this is like the Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush USC days. Those days are long gone. Pat’s last year in Texas Tech, they were 128th in scoring defense. This year, USC was 121st. He was constantly chasing points. I thought that led to some of the bad habits that creeped in a little bit this year.”

Jeremiah believes playing from behind contributed to Williams’ slight drop in production last season, similar to the situation with Mahomes before the 2017 draft. He was selected by Kansas City 10th overall after a trade with the Buffalo Bills and was the second quarterback chosen behind the Chicago Bears, taking Mitchell Trubisky.

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