LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Caleb Williams, welcome to Chicago.

The expectations are clear, become the franchise quarterback the Bears have craved for years and lift the founding NFL franchise to the top of the league. Other than that, there’s no pressure at all.

The Bears did exactly as expected by taking Williams with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night after general manager Ryan Poles made a half-hearted attempt during the week to play things close to the vest by telling everyone to “tune in” as he smiled.

The real mystery, of course, wasn’t whether they would kick off the festivities by taking the elusive, rifle-armed QB; it was what they would do with the No. 9 pick. They also have a third-rounder (75) and a fourth-rounder (122).

Chicago has just three playoff appearances since the 2006 team reached the Super Bowl and failed to advance in the postseason twice in that span. The Bears are 10-24 in two seasons under Poles and coach Matt Eberflus. But they see themselves as a playoff contender after going from three wins in 2022 to finishing 7-10 last season.

They’ve made some big moves this offseason, most notably acquiring six-time Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers to pair with DJ Moore. Now, they hope, they have their franchise quarterback. If Williams delivers, he’d be in rare territory in Chicago.

Jim McMahon helped the 1985 team shuffle to Chicago’s lone Super Bowl championship before injuries took their toll on The Punky QB. Jay Cutler set the franchise’s all-time passing record following a blockbuster trade from Denver, though his tenure didn’t quite meet the mile-high expectations, whether it was because of his supporting cast, coaching or his own shortcomings. But mostly, the quarterback spot has been a source of frustration in Chicago.

Williams said recently on The Pivot Podcast that he hopes to spend 20 years with one team and chase Tom Brady’s record seven Super Bowl wins. The Bears would be happy if he develops in ways former starter Justin Fields and Mitchell Trubisky never did after being taken with high draft picks.

Williams comes with the resume and tools.

He has the arm strength and ability to avoid defenders, to extend plays and make throws on the run. He’s also strong in the pocket, an area where Fields struggled, and he’ll be throwing to some experienced targets. Besides Allen and Moore, Williams will also have two productive tight ends in Cole Kmet and newcomer Gerald Everett.

Williams had 93 touchdowns and 14 interceptions during three seasons at Oklahoma and USC. He threw for 72 TDs and just 10 interceptions in two years with the Trojans. He also showed the ability to run, scoring 27 rushing touchdowns in college.

Williams followed coach Lincoln Riley from Norman to Los Angeles and won the Heisman in 2022. He threw for 4,537 yards, 42 touchdowns and five interceptions to lift USC from four wins in 2021 to 11 and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl.

Williams put up big numbers again last season while the Trojans struggled to an 8-5 record with one of the nation’s worst defenses. He threw for 3,333 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions in 12 games. He did not play in the Holiday Bowl.

Williams is the third player drafted by the Bears with the No. 1 pick — and their first since 1947. George Halas gambled on Oklahoma A&M halfback Bob Fenimore despite a knee injury that cut short his senior season. The former All-American lasted just one year in the NFL.

Chicago’s only other No. 1 pick was Michigan halfback Tom Harmon in 1941. The 1940 Heisman Trophy winner declined to sign with the Bears, saying he was finished with football. Harmon served as a pilot in World War II and eventually played two seasons for the Los Angeles Rams before moving on to a career in broadcasting.

The Bears had the top pick again Thursday because of the blockbuster trade with Carolina for Moore a year ago. The Bears sent the Panthers the No. 1 selection in 2023 and got their first-rounder this year. Carolina finished with a league-worst 2-15 mark.