USC quarterback Caleb Williams will forgo his remaining collegiate eligibility and enter the 2024 NFL Draft. Williams, a former Heisman Trophy winner and unanimous All-American, has long been seen as the favorite to go off the board at No. 1 overall. 

He is the No. 2 player in CBS Sports' 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings behind Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., but all three CBS Sports NFL Draft experts -- Ryan Wilson, Chris Trapasso and Josh Edwards -- have Williams as the consensus No. 1 pick in their latest mock drafts. The Chicago Bears currently hold the first pick. 

After winning the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore in 2022, Williams returned to USC in 2023 and finished the year with 3,633 yards passing and 30 touchdowns through the air while rushing for another 11 touchdowns. He did not play in USC's Holiday Bowl win against ACC runner-up Louisville, though he was the starter in all 12 of the Trojans' regular season games. 

Williams spent his entire collegiate career playing under coach and quarterback guru Lincoln Riley. Williams signed with Oklahoma when Riley was coach in 2021 and started a handful of games for the Sooners before following Riley to Los Angeles. In his first year with the Trojans, he set single-season records for total offense (4,919 yards), most total touchdowns scored (52), most passing yards (4,537) and most touchdowns passes (42) en route to the Heisman. 

Who wins the Williams sweepstakes? 

Williams was seen as a potential No. 1 overall pick well before the 2023 season began, and he certainly didn't do anything to hurt that stock despite a relatively disappointing 7-5 campaign for the Trojans. Williams wasn't the problem. He still displayed the same dazzling level of playmaking that enraptured scouts from the moment he took his first snaps as a freshman at Oklahoma. 

There's no doubt he'll hear his name called early, but the question remains: Which team actually makes the call? The Bears sit at the top of April's draft, but they already have a young former first-rounder at quarterback in Justin Fields, who is coming off arguably the best passing season of his professional career. Fields completed a career-high 64.1% of his passes for 2,562 yards and 16 touchdowns with a career-low nine interceptions in just 13 starts. 

The Bears could either trade Fields and invest in Williams' tremendous talent -- he's already further along as a passer than Fields was coming out of Ohio State in 2021 -- or they could get a bounty in draft assets by trading the No. 1 pick away. The Washington Commanders occupy the No. 2 spot, and most mocks have them taking North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye. Could the Bears entice Washington with a pick swap, commit to Fields and draft a new weapon -- say Marvin Harrison Jr. -- with the No. 2 pick? 

Impact on USC

As one might expect given his draft outlooks, Williams' decision comes as no surprise despite the fact he waited until the final day to officially declare. Regardless, losing a player of Williams' caliber always hurts and, at least in the early goings, it seemed as if USC was ready to comb the transfer portal for his replacement. 

Then veteran backup Miller Moss saw his time to shine. Moss has been relegated to backup duty behind Williams, who didn't miss a start due to injury during his time with the Trojans. Then Williams opted out of the Holiday Bowl, allowing Moss to make his first career start. 

Moss delivered, throwing a Holiday Bowl-record six touchdowns against a Louisville team that ranked top 25 in both total defense and scoring defense entering bowl season. Moss also had a whopping 372 yards passing on 23 completions, staking his claim for the starting job moving forward. 

USC still found a way to bring in some serious competition. On Jan. 9, the Trojans flipped UNLV quarterback transfer Jayden Maiava from Georgia. Maiava, a four-star in 247Sports' transfer rankings, has the same kind of improvisational skills and playmaking ability outside of structure we've grown accustomed to under Riley-coached quarterbacks. He also has three years of eligibility remaining after he started 14 games for the Rebels in 2023 as a redshirt freshman. 

Suffice to say, USC's quarterback competition is in good hands, even without Williams in the fold. Riley's always been good at establishing depth after the loss of a superstar.