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Caleb Williams "ready to go" with the Chicago Bears a day ahead of NFL Draft

Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze excited to be at NFL Draft; Bears have first pick
Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze excited to be at NFL Draft; Bears have first pick 01:49

DETROIT (CBS) -- The NFL Draft is coming up on Thursday in Detroit, and the Chicago Bears have the No. 1 and 9 picks.

The 2024 NFL Draft for the Bears is a payoff over a year in the making. As of Wednesday, they had only four picks – but two of them are in the top 10, including the No. 1 pick they got from the Carolina Panthers when they traded away the No. 1 overall pick last year.

At this point, it is no secret that USC quarterback Caleb Williams is the Bears' target with the top pick.

A day ahead of the draft at a Play Football Prospect Clinic, Williams and a dozen others from the 2024 Draft class worked with Special Olympics athletes.

Williams is the only quarterback with whom the Bears met ahead of a draft, in which five of the first six could be QBs.

He said he is ready to start his pro career in the Windy City.

"Chicago, if that's the place for me tomorrow, I can't wait," he said. "All I heard is great things about you all, and I'm ready to go."

Since the Bears got the No. 1 pick from Carolina, Williams will be joining the team with the best record ever to have the No. 1 overall pick.

For Williams, making the NFL is a dream that dates back to when he was 12 years old.

"Twelve years is when I set the dream and goal, and it hasn't really hit me yet, because I haven't been 2024, you know, first pick of the draft. You'll probably have to catch me after to see how I'm feeling," he said. "But to be here, you know, to be able to walk the stage – it's pretty surreal for me."

The Bears could also be targeting receivers such as Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Washington's Rome Odunze. Harrison and Odunze were also thrilled to be at the draft.

"I am super-excited. I'm not really nervous or anything. Really just, you know, enjoy the moment," Harrison said. "You get to do it one time, so be happy."

"You know, it's a dream I've had for a long time. I'm enjoying it, and first and foremost, I'll be able to do it with my family – all the people who supported me and got me to this moment," said Odunze. "That's really what I'm excited about."

Many eyebrows were also raised after Williams threw with Odunze, and Bears wide receivers D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen last week in Los Angeles. Williams was coy about the workout with two – or maybe even three – of his future Bears teammates.

Could it be foreshadowing?

"If a workout and a plane ride means I'm going to the Bears, then I guess so. But to me, it's very minimal – just some coincidences that, you know, we're having a little fun with. But you know, nobody knows how it's all going to end up," said Odunze, "but to be with Caleb again, that would be awesome."

"To be able to work with him possibly, if that happens, would be an honor me and a pleasure," added Williams. "I know the type of athlete and player he is – and also, you know, being around him since combine days, the type of person he is."

Odunze was asked if he has a real sense of where he'll end up.

"I'm hoping the top 10 - but honestly, anywhere in there, I feel like, is a real possibility," he said. "But we'll see."

While it's exciting to think the Bears could give Williams another weapon who is drawing comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald in Odunze, giving him help with that No. 9 pick could mean taking an offensive lineman or even a defensive player instead.

Whatever the case, the Bears are going to feel pretty good with a new quarterback for a team that hasn't had a winning record since 2018, or a playoff game since 2010.

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