May 25, 2024

Bears make unsurprising Caleb Williams announcement

That was obviously to be expected given that not only was Williams the top pick in the draft and also one of the most anticipated quarterbacks in years, but because the team also traded former starter Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier in the offseason. 

Now that the Bears offense is officially in the hands of Williams, the next question becomes how quickly he can make an impact. 

If recent top overall picks are any barometer, there are probably going to be some growing pains. Going back to the 2016 draft, there were seven quarterbacks before Williams to go No. 1 overall.

Here is a quick rundown of what they did as starters in their rookie season:

2023: Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers: completed 59.8 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in a 2-15 season.

2021: Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars: completed 59.6 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and a league-leading 17 interceptions in a 3-14 season.

2020: Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals: completed 65.3 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and five interceptions, but suffered a season-ending injury after 10 starts.

2019: Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals: completed 64.4 percent of his passes with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in a 5-10-1 season. 

2018: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns: completed 63.8 percent of his passes with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a 7-7 record.

2016: Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams: completed 54.6 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and seven interceptions while losing his first seven starts.

2015: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: completed 58.3 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in a 6-10 season.

Williams is entering a pretty good situation in Chicago as the Bears were not a typical team picking No. 1. They won seven games a year ago, have an already strong defense and have worked hard to surround their QB with potential impact players. 

They added veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen to join DJ Moore, while also drafting Washington’s Rome Odunze with the No. 9 pick in the draft to give him what might be one of the NFL’s best wide receiver groups. 

They also signed running back D’Andre Swift and are bringing back tight end Cole Kmet. 

Williams has playmakers at his disposal and is in a much better situation from the start than almost every quarterback on the above list. 

The Bears have been searching for a franchise quarterback for most of their existence as a franchise. They may have finally found one with Williams. He will now get to prove that he is the guy from the very start of his rookie season without any competition.