‘Not Special’ Caleb Williams to Face Similar Fate as Patrick Mahomes, Claims Merril Hoge: “If He’s Mentally Weak..

‘Not Special’ Caleb Williams to Face Similar Fate as Patrick Mahomes, Claims Merril Hoge: “If He’s Mentally Weak..

As teams intensely plan out the logistics and figure out the best fits for their crew, the NFL Draft only inches closer, offering a bank of talented young blood. Set to begin in April, fans, teams, and analysts already have their pick of the best players to enter the NFL next season. One consistent name popping up in this list is Caleb Williams. Regardless, this NFL veteran isn’t all sold on the player.

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Former ESPN analyst Merril Hoge feels that the quarterback isn’t that “special.” In an appearance on the Sports Junkies podcast, the former linebacker got candid about his opinions about the upcoming draft candidates. Hoge further compared his future career trajectory to Patrick Mahomes and explained the reasoning behind his strong views.

Hoge feels that Caleb Williams needs to be mentally strong to follow in Mahomes’ footsteps


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The analyst clarified his definition of “special” and only accredited to players in the last few years’ drafts that qualify for the tag. The players that made an impression on Hoge are Houston’s C.J. Stroud and Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow. Hoge cited Stroud’s accuracy and processing power as the reasons for his preference.

I said he [Williams] wasn’t special, and let me define special; there are two guys that are special in the last five or six years: CJ Stroud and Joe Burrow,” Hoge said, and continued, “Why were they special? Stroud did two things extremely well: he was extremely accurate, and he processed things quickly and beautifully, and he functioned in the pocket. When you can do that, and you can show that at the college level, that’s not an easy thing to see.

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He further added, “USC is a pure college system, and in college, they play on the perimeter; in the NFL, we move them in the middle, and now you got to play in the middle, and now you got defenses that can scheme well, so you have to function from the pocket. That’s going to be a big hurdle for him.

More than likely, he is not going to a playoff team where he’ll sit for a year like Patrick Mahomes did. If he’s mentally weak, they will destroy you.”

Talking about Williams, Hoge also pointed out the quarterback’s USC background as one of the reasons that might be a drawback. He feels that if Williams goes to a playoff team where the quarterback will be forced to sit out a season, like Mahomes’ first year with the Chiefs, it will require a lot of mental strength for the QB to persist in the game.

Where will Williams land in 2024?


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An aggressive quarterback good at drawing pressure is exactly what most teams are looking for given the state of modern football, and there are few as good as USC Trojans’ QB Caleb Williams. With his unmatched arm strength sending the ball more than 20 yards deep, Caleb is the draft every team has been eyeing. This has led to him being compared with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes by many coaches and analysts.

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With the Chicago Bears’ Justin Fields potentially entering the final year of his rookie contract, Williams couldn’t be more enticing. The team has the No.1 pick going into the draft and could possibly snatch the young QB away from other teams. The USC signal-caller is also better against defensive blitzes and has proven to be a more elusive and quicker quarterback, often being compared to the likes of Mahomes. Interestingly, also like Mahomes, Williams has showcased his penchant for making unorthodox passes while still maintaining a solid throwing technique.


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With the Bears having a good chance of securing the young quarterback, it would only be decided when the draft is finally here. Till then, the fans and players alike will be waiting and guessing the new lineups that could be seen in the upcoming season.

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