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After USC’s pro day, Caleb Williams had high-fives, handshakes, hugs and daps seemingly for everyone, from his teammates to NFL scouts to NFL assistant coaches to USC staff members to his marketing team to those who want to draft him.

In order, that included Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley, Washington Commanders general manager Adam Peters, Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles and coach Matt Eberflus. It was all captured by NFL Network’s broadcast.

But then Williams went back to his teammates for more handshakes and hugs. One lineman jumped on his back and embraced him. Center Justin Dedich wrestled with Williams and took him to the ground. There was more, too.

All of those interactions with his USC teammates were arguably more important than what Williams did with his 50 throws during his pro day.

NFL Network analysts Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah, two former scouts, watched it all live from the studio.

“It’s significant,” Brooks said in a phone interview. “The quarterback position is not just one of talent, but it’s one of communication and connectivity. The person who is QB1, he has to be able to bring all different types of people on the team together and normally is a unifier. Because when the quarterback is the leader, they all kind of follow his direction.

“Well, what you saw with his interactions with his teammates from USC is that he was beloved by his teammates. You saw everyone genuinely happy to see him, genuinely happy to see him have the big stage — and succeed on the big stage. And so that’s important.”

Extremely important.

When you’re the Bears, it’s something you continuously take notes on, whether you’re an area scout watching him live early in the season, the cross-check scout who visits USC’s campus later in the year or if you’re Eberflus, who was standing not far behind Williams as he went through his pro day with his teammates.

Everything a quarterback does and doesn’t do is important to a team’s evaluation of him, especially when he’s being considered for the first pick.

Continue reading.


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