2024 NFL Draft: Caleb Williams selected first by Chicago Bears as Jayden Daniels goes at No 2

Chicago Bears select Caleb Williams with first pick; LSU’s Jayden Daniels went at No 2 to Washington Commanders; Six of first 12 picks were quarterbacks for first time in league history; watch round two live on Sky Sports Action from 12am in the early hours of Saturday

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The Chicago Bears selected Caleb Williams with the first pick of the 2024 NFL Draft

The NFL’s worst-kept secret became reality on Thursday as the Chicago Bears selected Caleb Williams with the first pick of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Former USC quarterback Williams had entered the week as the consensus No 1 overall selection as one of the most accomplished college prospects in recent memory.

Chicago underlined their intentions earlier this offseason when they traded away quarterback Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers in preparation for the arrival of Williams.

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The 22-year-old won a Heisman Trophy during a three-year college career by the end of which he had completed 735 of 1,099 passes for 10,082 yards and 93 touchdowns to just 14 interceptions alongside 289 carries for 960 rushing yards and 27 scores.

Six of the first 12 picks were quarterbacks for the first time in league history.

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Check out highlights from Caleb Williams, who was selected first in the 2024 NFL Draft

NFL Draft

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams
2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels
3. New England Patriots: Drake Maye
4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr
5. Los Angeles Chargers: Joe Alt
6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers
7. Tennessee Titans: JC Latham
8. Atlanta Falcons: Michael Penix Jr
9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze
10. Minnesota Vikings: JJ McCarthy
11. New York Jets: Olumuyiwa Fashanu
12. Denver Broncos: Bo Nix
13. Las Vegas Raiders: Brock Bowers
14. New Orleans Saints: Taliese Fuaga
15. Indianapolis Colts: Laiatu Latu
16. Seattle Seahawks: Byron Murphy II
17. Minnesota Vikings: Dallas Turner
18. Cincinnati Bengals: Amarius Mims
19. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Verse
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Troy Fautanu
21. Miami Dolphins: Chop Robinson
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Quinyon Mitchell
23. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Thomas Jr
24. Detroit Lions: Terrion Arnold
25. Green Bay Packers: Jordan Morgan
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Graham Barton
27. Arizona Cardinals: Darius Robinson
28. Kansas City Chiefs: Xavier Worthy
29. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Guyton
30. Baltimore Ravens: Nate Wiggins
31. San Francisco 49ers: Ricky Pearsall
32. Carolina Panthers: Xavier Legette

Each of the first 14 picks was an offensive player, which doubled the previous record of seven offensive players to start the draft in 2021.

“To be able to be here, it’s an honour,” Williams said on the NFL Network after the Bears called his name. “I’m very privileged.”

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Eminem made a dramatic entrance to open the NFL Draft alongside commissioner Roger Goodell in Detroit Caleb Williams accolades

  • Heisman Trophy winner (2022)
  • Unanimous First Team All-American (2022)
  • Walter Camp Player of the Year (2022)
  • AP Player of the Year (2022)
  • Pac-12 Player of the Year (2022)

A half-dozen franchises hope they found their long-term answer at quarterback. LSU’s Jayden Daniels went at No 2 to the Washington Commanders and North Carolina’s Drake Maye went at No 3 to the New England Patriots to start the draft.

“Let’s go,” Maye said. “I’m ready to go compete. I’m ready to get to New England. We’re going to have a blast.”

The early sequence marked the fourth time in NFL history that teams selected quarterbacks with each of the top three picks. It also happened in 1971, 1999 and 2021, the most recent time when Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance went in the top three.

Image: Jayden Daniels went at No 2 to the Washington Commanders

The Atlanta Falcons provided the first big surprise of the evening by selecting Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr at No 8. The Falcons spent a first-round pick on a quarterback despite signing veteran signal-caller Kirk Cousins in March to a deal worth $100m guaranteed.

Cousins got a brief heads-up from the Falcons, when they were on the clock, that they planned to select another quarterback in the first round, according to the veteran QB’s agent.

The Minnesota Vikings traded up one spot in the draft to ensure that they got their target, Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, at No 10 overall. The Vikings sent a fourth- and fifth-round pick to the New York Jets and received a sixth-round pick in return as part of the swap.

Image: Despite signing Kirk Cousins in March, the Falcons spent a first-round pick on a quarterback in Michael Penix Jr at No 8

At No 12, the Denver Broncos picked the sixth quarterback of the evening, Oregon’s Bo Nix.

Teams also focused on wide receiver and offensive line in a first round that was dominated by offense.

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Caleb Williams was left very emotional as he received a message from his mum after he was announced as the NFL Draft first pick for the Chicago Bears

The Arizona Cardinals added Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr with the fourth pick. Harrison, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison Sr, has drawn comparisons to legendary Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald Jr Harrison Jr said he was confident that he would be the first wideout selected.

“I just had trust in my abilities,” he said. “I worked so hard to get to this point.”

At No 5, the Los Angeles Chargers bolstered their offensive line by selecting Notre Dame left tackle Joe Alt. It marked the first pick under new coach Jim Harbaugh.

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The New York Giants picked the second wideout of the draft when they added playmaker Malik Nabers from LSU with the sixth overall choice.

Alabama offensive lineman JC Latham went to the Tennessee Titans at No 7. Latham, who stands 6 ft 6in and weighs 342 pounds, embraced NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a giant bear hug and lifted him high off the ground.

“I let him know, man,” Latham said with a smile. “I had to let him know. A lot of excitement.”

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Tennessee Titans draft pick JC Latham celebrated by bear-hugging Roger Goodell, despite the NFL commissioner undergoing back surgery three weeks ago

The Bears used the ninth pick to select Washington wideout Rome Odunze, who will join Williams as part of a reinvigorated offense.

Odunze said he could not wait to team up with Williams.

“From the glimpses that I’ve been able to hang out with him, I can tell he has that determination, as do I,” Odunze said.

The Jets used the 11th pick to grab Olumuyiwa Fashanu, an offensive lineman from Penn State.

The Las Vegas Raiders added tight end Brock Bowers from Georgia at No 13. The New Orleans Saints grabbed Oregon State offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga to make it 14 offensive players in a row.

The Indianapolis Colts finally put the spotlight on defense at No 15. The Colts selected edge rusher Laiatu Latu from UCLA.

Watch round two of the 2024 NFL Draft live on Sky Sports Action from 12am in the early hours of Saturday.

Mahomes 2.0? Meet the NFL Draft’s No 1 pick

Who is Caleb Williams, the star quarterback selected with the No 1 overall pick at the 2024 NFL Draft?

Whether a burden or blessing, Williams entered the 2024 Draft as the latest superstar college quarterback prospect and perhaps the first to draw legitimate comparisons to the three-time Super Bowl champion.

The Bears let their intentions be known earlier this offseason when they traded quarterback Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers just three seasons after drafting him, paving the way for general manager Ryan Poles to use the No 1 pick on Williams.

Chicago has been awaiting its answer at quarterback with which to propel the Bears back into perennial contention. They may now have their man.

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