You can count NFL analyst Merrill Hoge as one who doesn’t believe in Caleb Williams.
Williams, the projected first overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft, declared for the draft after two seasons playing quarterback for the USC Trojans.
There hasn’t been this much of a polarizing prospect atop draft boards in quite some time as some consider passing on Williams with the first overall pick as a crucial mistake while others wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole.
Merrill Hoge, who played fullback in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears from 1987 to 1994 and served as a football analyst for ESPN from 1996 to 2017, had some strong words regarding Caleb Williams calling him “not special” and saying that he’s “not remotely close to Patrick Mahomes.”
The Chicago Bears currently own the first overall pick of the draft and need to decide whether they want to draft Williams or stick with current starting quarterback Justin Fields.
Hoge hopes that the Bears don’t try to correct the mistake they previously made when they drafted current Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick of 2017 NFL Draft ahead of Kansas City Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes who the Chiefs drafted tenth overall in that same draft.
“And I hope the Bears don’t think, “Let’s kinda make up for our mistake when we passed on Patrick Mahomes and go get the Patrick Mahomes.” The kid is not Patrick Mahomes. Ain’t even remotely close to that.”
We may want to take Hoge’s take with a grain of salt, however.
As Freezing Cold Takes highlighted on X, Hoge is the guy that “liked Brian Brohm better than Aaron Rodgers” when the Green Bay Packers drafted both quarterbacks in the 2008 NFL Draft.