Heisman Winners Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels Selected 1-2 In NFL Draft

Heisman Trophy winners Caleb Williams (2022) and Jayden Daniels (2023) were taken by Chicago and Washington, respectively, with the first and second picks of the 2024 NFL Draft on Thursday in Detroit, marking just the second time a pair of Heisman recipients have been selected 1 and 2.

Williams became the 25th Heisman winner to go first overall in the NFL Draft and is the fifth Heisman winner to go first among the last six winners, which includes Bryce Young to Carolina (2023), Joe Burrow to Cincinnati (2020), Kyler Murray to Arizona (2019) and Baker Mayfield to Cleveland (2018).

Williams and Daniels are the 42nd and 43rd Heisman winners, respectively, selected in the top 5 and the 60th and 61st recipients taken in the first round.

The only other time two Heisman winners were taken back-to-back to start the NFL Draft was in 2015 when Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay) and Marcus Mariota (Tennessee) were drafted first and second overall.

Daniels’ fellow 2023 Heisman Trophy finalists — second-place finisher Michael Penix Jr., third-place Bo Nix and fourth-place Marvin Harrison Jr. — joined him as top 11 NFL Draft Picks.

Harrison Jr. was drafted fourth by Arizona, Penix Jr. was taken eighth by Atlanta and Nix was selected 12th by Denver.

Thursday also marks the 12th time two Heisman winners were taken in the same draft and the seventh time two Heisman winners were taken in the first round of the same draft. The last time was in 2018 when Mayfield (first, Cleveland) and Lamar Jackson (32nd, Baltimore) served as bookends for the first day of selections.

Williams is the third Heisman winner from USC to be drafted first overall, joining O.J. Simpson (1969) and Carson Palmer (2003).

Williams becomes the fourth Heisman winner drafted by Chicago but the first since 1951 winner Dick Kazmaier was taken by the Bears in the 15th round (176th pick) in 1952.

Chicago also drafted 1940 winner Tom Harmon first overall in 1941 and Johnny Lujack with the fourth pick overall in 1946, a year before he won the 1947 Heisman. (Lujack was taken one spot behind fellow Heisman winner Doc Blanchard in the 1946 Draft.)

Daniels is the sixth Heisman winner drafted by Washington. The Commanders drafted 1951 winner Vic Janowicz in the seventh round in 1952 and selected 1960 winner Joe Bellino in the 17th round in 1961 (Bellino was also drafted by, and started his career with, the AFL’s Boston Patriots).

Washington selected 1961 winner Ernie Davis first overall in 1962 (although Washington traded him to Cleveland). Washington drafted 1991 winner Desmond Howard fourth overall in 1992 and 2011 winner Robert Griffin III second overall in 2012.