Aaron Rodgers’ legacy continues to echo through the NFL realm. The impact that he has generated in the game of touchdowns and tackles to date influences the next generation of elite quarterbacks including the 3x Super Bowl Champion Patrick Mahomes. Thus, it was not surprising to witness A-Rod’s name pop up once again as the 2024 NFL Draft’s top prospect, Caleb Williams took to the mic.

Given Williams’ NCAA run, anticipation surrounds the young professional as he prepares for the big stage. The 22-year-old showcased a glimpse of his football skills on his pro day. The young QB flashed the kind of arm talent and field mastery that drew up praises from varied analysts and professionals. In fact, a possible comparison with none other than the “ultimate quarterback” was also established who also boasts great arm strength.

Caleb Williams doesn’t hold back from praising Aaron Rodgers

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During his interviews at the NFL Combine earlier this month, Caleb Williams was asked a bunch of questions. One among them particularly focused on who Williams considers the football G.O.A.T. Without much hesitation, the QB expressed his admiration for Aaron Rodgers. “My football GOAT is Aaron Rodgers,” Williams declared. “He’s the ultimate quarterback in regards to arm strength.”

This high praise aligns with the rave reviews Williams received for his pro-day performance. Analysts like Chris Simms were in awe of the young QB’s “effortlessly brilliant” talent, noting how Williams made extremely difficult throws look routine. As Simms described, “It looks like he’s throwing it easy. But if you don’t have a trained eye or haven’t seen it a ton you won’t recognize it like, ‘Woah! Did that ball and that curl route just pop out of his hands and get to that receiver in half a second?’”

Williams has been upfront about modeling his game after Rodgers, specifically studying the veteran’s ability to make throws from unique platforms and angles. As Williams heads to the NFL draft, his goal is to emulate the very skills that made Rodgers so iconic over his Packers tenure. However, Rodgers’ impact stretches far beyond just molding the next wave of talented quarterbacks like Williams.

A tale of legacy and inspiration

Just a few years before Williams burst onto the scene, it was another young quarterback looking up to Aaron Rodgers and his jaw-dropping talents. In the lead-up to the 2017 NFL Draft, Patrick Mahomes revealed that studying Rodgers, his game and famous “Hail Mary” plays inspired his pro day showcase of uncorking a 78-yard bomb downfield.


Nothing to see here, just Patrick Mahomes throwing a football 80 yards at his pro day (via @RosterWatch) pic.twitter.com/y09lHQcRub

— Stack Sports (@StackSports) March 31, 2017


In a 2017 video released by Fox Sports’s Peter Schrager a few hours back, A young Mahome revealed, “We look at Aaron Rodgers, who I love watching. And you see the Hail Mary and how it changes the games. That’s just the reason behind it.” An inspiration that foreshadowed Mahomes’ penchant for late-game dramatics.

While their accolades and championship counts may differ, the numbers tell a remarkable story of sustained excellence between the two-star quarterbacks. Despite being relatively early in his career, Mahomes has already matched Rodgers’ Super Bowl appearance total and boasts a superior 15-3 playoff record compared to Rodgers’ 12-10 mark.

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Of course, few plays summarize Rodgers’ flair for the insanely clutch quite like his 61-yard “Miracle in Motown” Hail Mary heave to Richard Rodgers in 2015. A game-winning touchdown toss that will forever live on as one of the most improbable yet iconic plays in NFL history.

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The torch has been passed from one magical quarterback to the potential next great in Caleb Williams. Just as Rodgers inspired Mahomes years ago, Williams now aims to build upon the legacies of the elite talents before him.