The Sports Report: NFL scouts grade Caleb Williams and Dorian Thompson-Robinson

USC's Caleb Williams looks to pass in one image and UCLA's Dorian Thompson-Robinson points down field in another.
USC quarterback Caleb Williams, left, and UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson have led their teams to 3-0 starts this season.
(Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Iliana Limón Romero. I’m filling in for Houston Mitchell, who is out today and probably counting more Dodgers Dugout Hall of Fame ballots. Let’s get right to the news.

From Sam Farmer: The NFL scouts will arrive at the Rose Bowl on Saturday with their binoculars and notepads at the ready. They will watch from the press box with great interest, not because they’re pulling for USC or UCLA but because millions of dollars could be at stake.

Both rosters are filled with Saturday players who dream of playing on Sundays, and many of those prospects will wind up in NFL camps next summer.


The quarterbacks are of particular interest in this year’s crosstown rivalry, with UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson on one side and USC’s Caleb Williams on the other.

As they have for the last 16 years, two NFL team scouts opened their notebooks for the Los Angeles Times to give some honest, unvarnished appraisals of the talent on the field. The participating scouts have changed over the years, but the concept remains. They spoke on condition of anonymity — identified as Scout 1 and Scout 2 — because of the competitiveness of their jobs and the sensitivity of the information. They represent NFL teams in both conferences.

First, the quarterbacks. Both evaluators strongly favor Williams when it comes to playing at the next level, although the USC standout won’t be eligible for the draft until spring 2024, so the scouts haven’t studied him closely.

In their opinion, there’s a real chance Williams could be the No. 1 overall pick.


USC-UCLA crosstown rivalry makes overdue history with two Black starting QBs

Victory Bell mercenaries: How the transfer portal is shaping the USC vs. UCLA rivalry


With Bill McGovern possibly out again, how will UCLA’s defense rise against USC?

UC regents delay final decision on UCLA’s Big Ten move until December

‘Who runs the city?’ John Humphrey and Calen Bullock of Pasadena prepare for UCLA-USC rivalry reunion

Use our interactive guide to see how UCLA and USC could reach the Pac-12 title game


Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard turns to the basket during a game against the Pistons
Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard turns to the basket during a game against the Pistons at Arena on Thursday night.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

From Andrew Greif: The second act of the Clippers’ season began with a man stepping onto the court with eyes down, even as everyone else’s focused on him, and him alone.

Kawhi Leonard had been seen only in glimpses, his name mentioned only in brief updates at news conferences, in the three weeks since the All-Star wing last played, since stiffness in the knee that had undergone surgery 16 months earlier altered his plans.

Thursday evening, two hours after Clippers coach Tyronn Lue confirmed Leonard’s return with a quiet “mm-hmm,” Leonard’s name was blared through the Arena speaker system to mark his first action since Oct. 23, his first start since June 14, 2021, and the first moment of what the Clippers hope is a return that will allow the team to realize its potential — particularly after a first month of the season that revealed so many of its flaws.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James looks up from the bench
Lakers forward LeBron James looks up from the bench during a game against the Utah Jazz Monday.
(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

From Dan Woike: LeBron James has been upgraded to questionable after sitting out two games last week because of a strained adductor muscle in his left leg.

The Lakers host the Detroit Pistons on Friday night, the team’s first game since defeating the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.


A collage of drawings of The Times' 75 greatest Lakers players.
A collage of The Times’ 75 greatest Lakers players.
(Illustration by Kevin Gold / For The Times)

As part of our look back at 75 years of the Lakers, we want you to tell us who you believe are the 10 greatest Lakers of all time. Minneapolis and Los Angeles are included, so don’t hesitate to put someone like George Mikan on your list. Compile your list of the 10 greatest Lakers, in order from 1 to 10, and email it to Our team of experts voted on players only, but you can include nonplayers, so if you think Chick Hearn or Jerry Buss or heck, even Dancing Barry, deserve a spot in the top 10, feel free to vote for them. You have until Dec. 1 to vote. First place on your ballot will receive 12 points, second place nine, third place eight points, etc. The readers’ top 10 will be announced soon after voting closes.


2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger stands in the Dodgers dugout
The Dodgers have until Friday to decide whether to tender 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger a contract for the 2023 season.
(Jeff Chiu / Associated Press)

From Jack Harris: For most of the last two seasons, as their star center fielder and former most valuable player slipped into a puzzling cycle of injuries, inconsistency and head-scratching production, the Dodgers have remained steadfast.

They still believe in Cody Bellinger’s ability. They’re still hopeful the 27-year-old slugger can rediscover some semblance of the All-Star-caliber, Silver-Slugger-winning, superstar-affirming form of his old self.

“I know he’s working with our guys,” Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, said last week at Major League Baseball’s general manager meetings in Las Vegas, “and doing everything he can to put himself in position to be a real force for us next year.”


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Tyler Anderson explains why signing with Angels was a ‘no-brainer’


1962 — Bill Wade of the Chicago Bears passes for 466 yards and two touchdowns to edge the Dallas Cowboys 34-33.

1970 — Joe Frazier knocks out Bob Foster in the second round to retain the world heavyweight title in Detroit.

1974 — Charley Johnson of the Denver Broncos passes for 445 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-34 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.

1978 — Vanderbilt’s Frank Mordica rushes for 321 yards and five touchdowns in a 41-27 victory over Air Force. Mordica scores on runs of 48, 30, 6, 70 and 77 yards.

1990 — Monica Seles captures the first five-set women’s match since 1901, defeating Gabriela Sabatini 6-4, 5-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Virginia Slims Championships.

1995 — Iowa State’s Troy Davis becomes the fifth player in NCAA Division I-A to rush for 2,000 yards, reaching that plateau in a 45-31 loss to Missouri.

1995 — Alex Van Dyke sets an NCAA record for most receiving yards in a season, catching 13 passes for 314 yards as Nevada beats San Jose State 45-28. Van Dyke raises his total to 1,874 yards, surpassing the record of 1,779 set in 1965 by Howard Twilley of Tulsa.

2000 — Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El becomes the second player in NCAA Division I-A history to rush for 200 points and pass for 200 points in a career in a 41-13 loss to Purdue.

2003 — American soccer phenom Freddy Adu, 14, signs a six-year deal with MLS.

2006 — Top-ranked Ohio State beats No. 2 Michigan 42-39 in Columbus in the regular-season finale. The Big Ten rivals had the top two spots in The AP football poll since Oct. 15.

2007 — Jimmie Johnson becomes the first driver to win consecutive Nextel Cup championships since Jeff Gordon in 1997 and ’98, wrapping up the title by finishing a trouble-free seventh in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

2007 — Top-ranked Roger Federer wins his fourth Masters Cup title in five years, overwhelming No. 6 David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

2012 — Matt Schaub has a career-high five touchdown passes, completes a franchise-record 43 passes and finishes with 527 yards passing, second most in NFL history, to lead the Houston Texans to a 43-37 overtime win over Jacksonville. Norm Van Brocklin holds the record with 554 for the Rams in 1951.

2014 — The NFL suspends Adrian Peterson without pay for at least the rest of the season. The league informs the Minnesota Vikings running back he would not be considered for reinstatement before April 15 for violating the NFL personal conduct policy.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Watch this recording of the 1988 Measles Game. USC quarterback Rodney Peete battled the measles all week, but he played against rival UCLA and led the Trojans to a 31-22 win.

Until next time...

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