Jayden Daniels Visit Plans Intensify Rumors About Bears’ QB Pick

Jayden Daniels Visit Chicago Bears News 2024 NFL Draft Caleb Williams

Getty Former LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels does not have a Top 30 visit scheduled with the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Bears are still a few weeks away from officially turning in their No. 1 overall draft pick and selecting a new franchise quarterback, but their choice is becoming clearer after the latest update about Jayden Daniels’ visit schedule.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Daniels — the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner out of LSU — has official Top 30 visits on the books with “two of the top three teams” in the 2024 NFL draft, beginning with his visit to the New England Patriots on April 8.

Rapoport also previously noted that Daniels has scheduled visits with the Washington Commanders (No. 2), New York Giants (No. 6), Denver Broncos (No. 12) and Las Vegas Raiders (No. 13). The implication, of course, is that Daniels will not be meeting with the Bears, who appear to have locked in on USC’s Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall.

The Bears hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 draft and are certain to draft a new quarterback after trading away 2023 starter Justin Fields to Pittsburgh in mid-March. Over the past month, though, their approach to scouting the quarterback class has shed light on which target — Williams — has captured their attention over the others.

While Bears general manager Ryan Poles attended the pro days of both Daniels and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, he did not fly to North Carolina to see Drake Maye throw. He has also not invited any of the three quarterbacks to Halas Hall for an official visit, at least based on the information insiders have provided through the first week of April.

Unless something changes, Chicago’s intentions at No. 1 overall seem clear.

‘Very Clear’ Caleb Williams Wants to Play for Bears

The Bears hosted Williams for his Top 30 visit last Wednesday, April 3, treating him to dinner the night before and using his visit to introduce him to some of their veteran players and coaches who did not fly out to Los Angeles to attend his March 20 pro day. Rapoport described the vibe of the visit as more of a “meet-and-greet” with the team.

Afterward, Rapoport confirmed that Williams has no plans to visit with any additional teams during the pre-draft process and that he “would, in fact, like to be in Chicago.”

“I think it is very clear that Caleb Williams would, in fact, like to be in Chicago despite a whole bunch of commentary and speculation otherwise,” Rapoport told NFL Network on April 4. “It does seem the Bears are honing in on Caleb Williams.

“Obviously, [there is] nothing firm, no announcement, nothing official, but that seems to be the direction they are heading now. And it seems that Caleb Williams would also like that, so [he is taking] one Top 30 visit, then he is done.”

Can Jayden Daniels or Other QBs Still Win Over Bears?

As of April 7, the media consensus is that Williams will land with the Bears at No. 1 overall, but could something still change Chicago’s mind in the next few weeks?

Extremely likely, but not impossible.

There are essentially two long-shot reasons why the Bears might take another path. The first would be Williams saying he does not want to play in Chicago, similar to what Eli Manning did to force himself from the then-San Diego Chargers to the New York Giants during the 2004 NFL draft. So-called experts, such as Robert Griffin III, have urged Williams to take this path, but there is nothing tangible to suggest he wants to do that.

The Bears have also constructed a favorable situation for a new quarterback. They have several defensive cornerstones — including Montez Sweat and Jaylon Johnson, who both received extensions in the past six months — and one of the most formidable receiving duos in the league in Keenan Allen and DJ Moore. They also hold the No. 9 overall pick, which should help Chicago land another blue-chip prospect to help the cause — whether it be a wide receiver, left tackle or another star defender.

An incoming rookie would be hard-pressed to find many flaws with that build.

The other long-shot possibility is that the Bears uncover a medical red flag with Williams to push them in another direction. Williams did not undergo medical testing at the 2024 NFL Combine in early March, so the Bears had to wait until his Top 30 visit to run their tests and make sure there were no unpleasant revelations about his health. That said, it would have likely come out if the Bears found something concerning.

In other words, barring an unforeseen discovery, Williams is a near-lock for Chicago.

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