Rams need to avoid this QB prospect at all costs after 2024 NFL Combine

NFL Combine
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Everything that USC QB Caleb Williams does on the college football field is spectacular. And I for one have been among the myriad of LA Rams fans, nay, even NFL fans, who wanted Fates to take a direct hand in the forces at work, shine on the Rams, and somehow elevate the team to a spot in the 2024 NFL Draft where selecting Williams was an option

After all, a top rookie quarterback prospect can mean unbridled success for his team, can elevate the performance of others, and can be a leader who sets the tone for all other young players who arrive to that team for years to come. That is a lot of hats to wear for a young man who has already had the taste of the good life, and simply wants more where that came from.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams reportedly had six endorsement deals while at USC worth more than $12 million. That's created a brand new environment for the young man, and one in which nobody in the NFL has any experience with.

Williams is not your run-of-the-mill prospect because he has plenty of money in his pocket already. The optics of his response to the NFL Draft process already share the optics with top NBA prospects. Caleb Williams is not working out at the 2024 NFL Combine. That is a tactic that makes some sense. No top prospect wants to risk injury.

But Caleb Williams is taking it one step higher. He has not consented to medical examinations at the NFL Scouting Combine either, which essentially prohibits any medical data from Williams to go to any NFL team that he does not wish.

I'm not as outraged as some. If Caleb Williams officially meets with a team, part of that meeting will include an individualized medical examination. Williams will still place that part of his candidacy into the hands of teams that he believes worthwhile new teams that he wishes to play for. And in the history of the NFL, this is not even close to how rookie QB John Elway forced the Indianapolis Colts to trade him to the Denver Broncos.

Still, this is bad optics. No matter how talented or productive a player might be, in the NFL, it's team first. If Rams fans needed a refresher course in just how vital passion for the game can be to overall team success, the experience of the 2023 NFL season was an important reminder.

I'm not saying that rookie prospect QB Caleb Williams does not have a right to decide which team he plays, and how many concessions he might be willing to give that team to grace them with his presence. I'm simply saying that 14 rookies were drafted by the Rams in 2023, and they quickly bonded because they were new to the NFL, but were all blessed with a passion to play the game that they loved.

Money motivates some players, and I will never deny that fact. But the reason I admired and respected former Rams DL Coach Eric Henderson is that money was never a consideration. His #DAWGWORK mantra applied to Aaron Donald as much as it applied to undrafted rookie DE Jonah Williams in 2020. Facing adversity together builds trust and a virtually unbreakable brotherhood.

No, in the grand scheme of things, Caleb Williams is just the first to arrive with millions in his bank account seeking the best valet service among NFL teams to park his limo. He most certainly won't be the last. I respect Williams, and truly understand what he is doing and why he is doing it.

But from my experience and perspective, he is taking a path that does not lead to esprit de corps. It leads to a me-first mentality. It resembles a me-first mindset already. That's not acceptable to me and has caused me to jump off the Caleb Williams bandwagon. This is a team sport, now and always. Contrast this to that of North Carolina QB prospect Drake Maye, who made it a point to always share his NIL deals with his offensive linemen:

Opinion or preference, I prefer the Drake Maye approach everytime.