Caleb Williams was heralded as one of the greatest QB prospects in recent memory before this college football season. As is wont to happen with such prospects, once the games started, Williams has been criticized from every direction thanks to the intense microscope he was under from the first snap. Even if the USC quarterback played perfect football people would find holes to poke in his game.
Unfortunately for Williams he has not played perfect football over the last few months. The flashes of talent that make him such an enticing prospect have certainly been on full display, but Williams has also exhibited signs of poor decision-making as he tries to do everything for a Trojans team that can be outmatched talent-wise. This season has also proven that Williams, for better and for worse, wears his heart on his sleeve. He clearly lives and dies with each game; whether that's good or bad for his draft stock depends on who you ask.
It also opens him up to criticism of a different nature. Such was the case today, when Ian Rapoport (of all people) called out Williams for choosing not to speak to the media after USC dropped their fifth game of the season to rival UCLA.
Feels a little harsh, no? Joe Burrow is a great franchise quarterback and everything but he's also making quite a few times more than Williams to take on the burden of that responsibility. Williams is 22 years-old. It's fair to criticize him for not facing the music after a loss but to imply he doesn't have what it takes to be a franchise quarterback because of that is taking it a step too far. Very few guys are ready to be the face of a franchise from Day 1 anyhow.
This sort of thing is what we'll be hearing all about in the months leading up to April's draft. Williams' physical talents are undeniable. The more ethereal intangibles, though, will be the talking point. Many a draft pundit will be wondering if Williams has the mental toughness to succeed in the NFL on camera. Rapoport is just getting a head start, apparentyly.