Why the comparisons between USC QB Caleb Williams and Patrick Mahomes are valid

Is USC quarterback Caleb Williams the best player in college football?

It’s a no-brainer if you ask Colin Cowherd. In fact, it’s not even particularly close.

The hype surrounding the Trojans’ Heisman Trophy winner ahead of the 2023 season is real, so much so that the 21-year-old signal-caller is drawing comparisons to Kansas City Chiefs QB and two-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes.

Cowherd explained why he believes the comparisons are “reasonable” on Monday’s edition of “The Herd.”

“They both run well but aren’t running quarterbacks,” Cowherd said. “They do some arm-angle stuff. Both super accurate. One of the things Caleb Williams does really well? He makes all the simple throws — the layup stuff.”

The “layup stuff” is what Cowherd believes sets Williams apart from the rest of the field and what will help secure his spot as a future No. 1 NFL Draft pick.

“Caleb is the No. 1 pick,” Cowherd proclaimed. “Barring some injury … it’s a lock.”

Williams threw for 4,537 yards and racked up 52 total touchdowns (42 passing, 10 rushing) last season. Cowherd believes Williams’ elite-level accuracy and vision is what makes him Mahomes-esque.

“Mahomes — every open receiver he hits,” Cowherd said. “Caleb is really good on the easy stuff. That’s very much a Mahomes … trick or pedigree. 

“Mahomes … he’s only spectacular about three times a game,” Cowherd continued. “Now Caleb — because he’s going against college guys — is spectacular about five, six times a game.”

USC’s Caleb Williams comps to Patrick Mahomes are reasonable

Colin Cowherd discusses USC QB Caleb Williams being compared to Patrick Mahomes. Colin explains why he thinks the comps are reasonable.

Cowherd isn’t the only voice in the sports world comparing the two QBs, but USC head coach Lincoln Riley thinks onlookers should remember that Williams has a long road ahead before he comes close to Mahomes’ status.

“I have to remind people that Caleb didn’t play his senior year of high school and only half the year his first year at Oklahoma,” Riley said. “Obviously, [Mahomes] is the best quarterback in the game and that’s a flattering comparison, but Caleb’s got a long way to go to get to that.”

Even Williams, who respects what others are saying about him, is trying to focus on his game and not the hype.

“Mahomes has been the best guy in the league basically since he got in the league,” Williams said. “He’s been playing at the highest level. I just say — respect. The man [has] got two Super Bowls under his belt, and I’ve got not even one national championship. 

“I just classify it as respect because I’ve been working my tail off to try and be the best.”

Cowherd believes the attention surrounding Williams is well-deserved and good for college football.

“It’s the perfect storm of hype,” Cowherd added. “You have a high-profile college coach, … a high-profile … athletic, dynamic star quarterback … and then you have a high-profile program with like six or seven or eight national titles.

“He (Williams) is going to be the most talked about prospect since John Elway and probably the best prospect since John Elway.”

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