How Caleb Williams performed in minicamp – NBC Sports Chicago


The soft launch of the Caleb Williams era took place at Halas Hall during the Bears' two-day rookie minicamp last weekend.

Four members of the Bears' five-man draft class participated in minicamp, with several rookies and veteran players joining in for full practices.

Quarterback Caleb Williams entered minicamp ahead of the curve thanks to an early start in learning the fundamentals of the Bears' offense. Williams was off target on only a few passes – he went 20 of 26 over two days (unofficial) – and many of those incompletions were drops.

Meanwhile, punter Torey Taylor showed the power and accuracy that had the Bears eager to draft him in the fourth round.

Here's how each member of the Bears' draft class performed during minicamp, a loose letter grade assigned for on-field work in shorts during May. (Please do not take these grades seriously.)

Caleb Williams, QB

Williams was advertised during a two-day minicamp, during which he threw against players who were primarily at Halas Hall on a tryout basis.

Williams showed consistent accuracy and effortless precision during 7-on-7 periods. The No. 1 overall pick was inaccurate on a few throws, including one that was high and facing undrafted rookie Peter LeBlanc on Friday.

But even when the rare rep went awry, Williams made sure to get to the intended target, talk to the crook and run a shadow rep to fix it.

For Williams, much of his work during the offseason program will be about improving the running of the offense. A big focus will be on crowd control, getting his rhythm right and improving his footwork.

“Just learning. Learning general information,” quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph said of Williams' goals in minicamp. “To be able to get out here and lead guys. In the rush. To be on task with calling plays. To be able to get to the line of scrimmage and then have a good feel for the field spacing and just walk through it. “Or 7-on-7, he understands the spots on the field and understands our system. So that's something we've been looking for in that. And he's done a great job of that.”

The accuracy, arm talent, aura and attention to detail were all remarkable during Williams' Halas debut.

Grade: A+

Rome Odunze, Western Railway

Odunze practiced on Friday but sat out Saturday due to hamstring tightness.

The No. 9 overall pick played a role during his lone day of practice, displaying smooth routes and soft hands.

Odunze and Williams have already begun to build their chemistry off campus, and that work showed on Friday when the two connected seven times in three 7-on-7 periods.

Grade: A- (subject to availability)

Kiran Amegaji, OL

The third-round pick out of Yale did not practice as he is recovering from quad surgery in October.

The Bears' medical staff cleared Amegdji during the pre-draft period, but they want to be cautious before rushing his NFL development.

Amegadji said he is “feeling good” and will be ready to go whenever he gets the green light.

Hopefully will come to the training camp.

Grade: N/A

Tori Taylor, P

Taylor spent the first day of rookie minicamp kicking kicks during full-field drills. The hangtime and power of the Iowa product were remarkable.

The fourth-round pick has a big foot that the Bears have identified as a weapon, but the accuracy is equally impressive. Taylor “worked on his wedges” during the second day of camp and by his own admission, his day was good, not great.

Taylor still has to acclimate to the conditions in Chicago but he knows that will happen in time.

“I think it's one of those things you always do, nothing ever goes right,” Taylor said Saturday. “And I always come off the field, I think if you come off the field and say, 'Oh yeah, today was perfect,' then you probably shouldn't be here if that makes any sense. But yeah, it went really well for the second practice and there's still a lot of things to work on. I think one thing that surprised me a little bit is how windy it is here. I guess that's why they call it the Windy City. But that's just something I'm learning as I go along. But there are a lot of things to be happy about and a lot of things to learn and as long as I'm playing football, it's going to be like that and I want it that way.

grade A-

Austin Booker, DE

There's not much to learn from the trenches in non-padded practice in shorts.

Booker looked good physically, and the Bears coaches were pleased with his improvement from day one to day two.

The Bears have a plan to mold Booker into an effective every-down edge rusher. That work starts with the little things in the film room, the weight room, and when he's on the field he just keeps getting better.

“The whole thing for a rookie, I call it a maturity race,” defensive line coach Travis Smith said of Booker after the conclusion of minicamp. “The teams that have success in this league today have youngsters who play fastest and are able to impact the game. Not only play but are able to help us influence the game in some way. Whatever position they play, offense, defense, special teams, the faster they can impact the game, the faster our team will get to where we want to go. So you talk about what is its development? What is our plan? Every day, it is continuously improving. Today, he came out and he was better than yesterday. He still has a long way to go.”

Grade: N/A

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