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Caleb Williams would be 'excited' to go No. 1 to Bears

Katelyn Mulcahy / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Bears and presumptive No. 1 pick Caleb Williams seem destined for one another, and the star quarterback has no issues with landing in Chicago despite speculation he'd prefer another NFL destination.

"If I get drafted by the Bears, I'll be excited," Williams told ESPN's Pete Thamel. "If they trade the pick, and I get drafted by someone else, I'm just as excited. Speaking about Chicago, they have a talented team, a talented offense and defense. For anyone to be in that situation, I think they'd be excited."

Bears general manager Ryan Poles shrugged off the suggestion Tuesday that Williams could follow in the footsteps of Eli Manning, who refused to play for the then-San Diego Chargers, the owners of the No. 1 pick in 2004.

The former USC standout also dismissed the rumors.

"I'm not pushing any agenda," Williams said. "At the end of the day, the Bears have the last say. Regardless of how I feel, I'm not pushing an agenda of, 'Yeah, I want to go. Or no, I don't want to go.' I'm excited for whatever comes."

Poles said he remains in the process of deciding what to do with the first overall pick - which Chicago received from the Panthers as part of Carolina's trade up to the top selection last season - and current quarterback Justin Fields.

The Bears are widely expected to select Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner and consensus top passer in the 2024 class, and trade Fields.

Williams has reportedly opted not to throw at the NFL Scouting Combine and will instead work out for teams at his pro day on March 20.

Top quarterbacks often decide against performing at the combine, with former No. 1 picks Bryce Young and Joe Burrow being the most recent examples.

Though Williams won't participate in on-field work, he will meet with teams in Indianapolis and said he's excited for his "first date" with Chicago. He's also set to talk to the Washington Commanders, New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, New York Giants, and Minnesota Vikings, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports.

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