NFL Draft: Star QBs like Caleb Williams dominate the top 5 storylines of the draft

The NFL Draft is always more fun when quarterbacks are plentiful. And this draft has plenty of interesting quarterbacks.

As many as six quarterbacks could go in the first round. We're likely to see QBs go with each of the first three picks for the fourth time in the common draft era. For the first time since at least 1970, each of the teams with a top-three pick traded away their starting quarterback after season’s end, clearing the way for a new star to take their place.

Quarterbacks will dominate the conversation surrounding the draft, which starts Thursday. Here are the top five storylines to watch in the first round.

The Bears' intentions to draft Williams first overall have been known for so long, Williams to the Bears has been an overlooked story as everyone debates what will happen from the second pick on. But drafting Williams is a huge moment for a Bears franchise that has spent decades searching for a true star at quarterback. Williams is a great prospect and the moment his name is called to get the draft going will be an exciting one in Chicago.

It also isn't being talked about enough that the Bears have the ninth pick of the draft. The Bears could trade down, take one of the top pass rushers in the draft or be in position to take one of the elite receivers prospects to pair with Williams. The Bears were pretty good in the second half of last season and if Williams is good right away and they get the No. 9 pick right, perhaps Chicago could be a playoff contender this season.

Let's assume that Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye go with the first three picks to the Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots. We still need to see if Daniels or Maye will be the second pick, but it would be a surprise if either slipped past No. 3. That leaves J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr., with four teams in pretty desperate need of quarterback: the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders and (a little less desperately) New York Giants. That math means someone is getting shut out. Not to mention that a team like the Seattle Seahawks could be looking at one of the Pacific Northwest quarterbacks, Washington's Penix or Oregon's Nix, if they fall to the latter half of the first round. That could make the squeeze worse.

The supply and demand for the quarterbacks outside of the top three could lead to a bidding war in trades up, which will be fascinating to watch. Some teams are going to be excited about their new quarterback, some might be talking themselves into the quarterback they settled for, and others might leave the draft empty-handed.

Each year we're getting a new influx of talent at wide receiver through the draft. This year's draft class at receiver is one of the deepest we have seen.

Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Odunze and Malik Nabers are all likely to be top-10 picks. Brian Thomas Jr., Adonai Mitchell, Keon Coleman, Xavier Worthy and others could end up all in the first round, and the second round could be littered with receivers too. On the top 100 board of Yahoo Sports' Nate Tice, 16 of the top 85 players are receivers. Any team with a need at receiver should be able to find one they like. If you needed more proof that the NFL is fully invested in becoming a passing league, just watch the first round on Thursday night.

There could be a record for offensive players in the first round. The current record is 19 and this year's first round could beat that by a few picks. The draft is heavy at quarterback, receiver and offensive line.

What the draft isn't so deep on is defense. There aren't a lot of defensive players to get excited about. There are a few good edge rushers like Dallas Turner, Laiatu Latu and Jared Verse, talented cornerbacks like Quinyon Mitchell and Terrion Arnold, and a good defensive tackle in Byron Murphy II. But it's possible no defensive player goes in the top 10 (on Nate Tice's big board, the first defensive player is Mitchell at No. 13). One of those players will probably sneak into the top 10, but we'll see a lot more offensive players on the stage Thursday.

There are many interesting teams in the draft. The Vikings presumably didn't acquire a second first-round pick just to stand pat. There are now rumblings that the Broncos are willing to do whatever they have to do to move up and take a quarterback. The Arizona Cardinals are in an interesting spot with the fourth pick, weighing whether to draft generational receiver talent Marvin Harrison Jr. or entertain trade offers from the many teams looking to trade up.

But the fifth overall pick, owned by the Los Angeles Chargers, seems to be the spot where the draft will turn. It's a key moment for the new regime led by head coach Jim Harbaugh. He has talked about how much he values offensive linemen. Does that mean he'd pass on an elite receiver to take Notre Dame tackle Joe Alt? Will the Chargers take one of the top receivers available at No. 5 after losing Mike Williams and Keenan Allen this offseason? Or will the Chargers trade back and collect a ton of picks from one of those teams desperate to land a quarterback like J.J. McCarthy?

There will be a lot of movement in the first round, but the 10 minutes in which the Chargers are on the clock might be the most tense of the entire night.