Ryan Leaf believes there are a few quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft poised to have early success in the league. However, he does not have Caleb Williams among that group.

In a recent interview with Dan Patrick, Leaf said he would only draft Williams if he was going to sit the QB prospect and let him develop. However, he acknowledged no team is going to draft Williams No. 1 overall to sit.

Leaf went on to describe that the majority of Williams’ skill set is not transferrable without development:

“75% of what made him so great in college is not transferable to the NFL. He’s not going to be able to do that. He can’t do what he did in college 75% of the time and be successful at the NFL level,” explained Leaf. “He can do the 25% at the NFL level, but he needs some time.”

The players Leaf does believe can have immediate success are Jayden Daniels and Michael Penix Jr. He specifically spent a prolonged moment praising Penix’s ability as a vertical threat in the passing game.

“I do love Michael Penix. It’s tough for me to say, you know Washington-Washington State. I just think he’s the most accurate down-the-field passer I’ve seen come out of college in I can’t tell you,” Leaf claimed.

Regardless of Leaf’s thoughts, Williams remains the overwhelming favorite at ESPN Bet to be the No. 1 pick, while Penix does not appear high on any of the odds to be a top-5 pick.

Does Ryan Leaf have a point?

If Leaf does have a case to be made, it’s more related to the likely position in the draft and the issues in Chicago.

The Bears have a host of issues outside of the quarterback position, and expectations would undoubtedly weigh on Williams if thrust into the starting job as a rookie. It’s also no secret the franchise has historically struggled to develop the position.

On the flip side, it’s unclear where Penix might wind up. Some projections have him as a late first-round pick to potentially coming off the board near the middle of the second round.

What would that do for Penix? If he does slide in the draft, Penix could ultimately wind up in a better situation and with a team that is more suited for success than the Bears.

But that’s the only scenario where Leaf’s comments make a lot of sense. Yes, Penix has wowed with his arm strength, tight spirals and pinpoint accuracy with the Huskies, but Leaf is missing the entire point.

Williams is not projected as a generational player solely on his ability to create off-schedule plays with his legs and arms. His play from the pocket has still been phenomenal at USC, and his ability to improvise is just the next layer of his talent.

Whether or not that translates to immediate success with the Bears (or any other team) remains to be seen.