Young Superstar QB’s Visit to Raiders Stadium Raises Eyebrows

caleb williams

Getty USC QB Caleb Williams.

Caleb Williams is currently playing his home games at the LA Memorial Coliseum as the starting quarterback for the USC Trojans, and his NFL future could include playing for the NFL team, the Las Vegas Raiders, that used to play in that stadium.

Williams, the No. 1 quarterback prospect in next year’s draft, visited the Raiders for a tour of Allegiant Stadium, and he posted pictures of the visit on Instagram, fueling speculation among fans.

Williams is likely to be the top pick in the 2024 draft, and the Raiders — who will be looking for their quarterback of the future — could be in position to select him if their 2023 season goes off the rails. The Raiders are projected by Pro Football Focus to have the 14th pick in the 2024 draft, and various sportsbooks have put the over-under on the Raiders’ win total between 6.5 and 7.5, among the lowest in the league.

Jimmy Garoppolo is the team’s starting quarterback for now, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be a long-term option.

Caleb Williams Listed Las Vegas Raiders as Teams He’d Want to Play For

Williams is getting a lot of hype after his Heisman Trophy-winning 2022 season. At least two teams have graded him as high or higher than Trevor Lawrence, a quarterback who was the top pick in the 2021 draft, according to a May tweet from Brett Kollman of YouTube’s “The Film Room.” The Raiders haven’t used a first-round pick on a quarterback since JaMarcus Russell in 2017.

Williams specifically mentioned earlier in the year that the Raiders are a team he’d want to play for.

“I like to be around younger coaches,” Williams said in a February 21 interview with People’s Lanae Brody. “I’d probably go to the Dolphins. I also would be able to play with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki. The defense isn’t bad. That’s probably my No. 1 spot. … San Fran, Raiders or Falcons. I’d play anywhere.”

Will Las Vegas Raiders Be in a Position to Draft Caleb Williams?

If the Raiders are interested in Williams next year, they won’t be the only team. He is one of the most hyped quarterback prospects of the past two decades. Unless he has a disappointing junior season with USC, he will almost certainly be the No. 1 pick. Many expect the Arizona Cardinals to have that pick. In a May 23 column forESPN, Seth Walder gave the Cardinals an 18.2% chance to get the No. 1 pick in 2024. In the same article, Walder gave the Raiders just a 3.2% chance to get the top pick.

If the Cardinals do get the top pick, things will be interesting. They already have Kyler Murray, but he’s coming off of a disappointing season that ended with a torn ACL injury. There’s a chance he won’t play in 2023 so it’ll be difficult for him to prove to the team that they shouldn’t draft Williams. However, Arizona signed Murray to a five-year, $230.5 million extension in 2022.

If Jimmy Garoppolo is limited this season, their chances of getting the top pick could improve with 37-year-old career backup QB Brian Hoyer in charge. But given Williams’ talent and teams’ need to find a franchise quarterback, it could be difficult to move up in the draft to select him at No. 1.

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