2022 NFL Draft Profile: Malik Willis – AthlonSports.com

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Willis has attractive playing abilities, but he’s still raw when it comes to understanding the nuances of being a quarterback

‘Raw potential’ is an easy way to describe Malik Willis, one of the top quarterback prospects in 2022 NFL Disorganized. After beginning his college career at Auburn, Willis transferred to Liberty where he became one of the nation’s top dual-threat signallers. Threatening to do things with his arm or his leg, Willis definitely has the skills NFL teams look for in a quarterback, but he’s far from a finished product. Still, the overall package is attractive enough that a team could end up taking Willis in the first round.

(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2022 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on top prospects, positional rankings, and more, no source will prepare you better for draft day. Look for it in our online store soon and on newsstands March 22.)

Malik Willis draft profile

University: Freedom
To classify: Jr.
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 225

Strong points

A power thrower and a threat to do damage with his legs, Willis ticks all the boxes for a modern NFL quarterback. He threatens the defense vertically and horizontally with his legs as well as his off-platform throwing ability. His touch on the court and off the numbers is very good, and he will fill the highlight reels with his ability to extend plays and deliver accurate shots. He has the sturdy build of a running back and possesses plenty of contractions and power as a runner. He has the speed to pick up chunks of yardage, but he displays impressive power in tight areas, which makes him particularly effective in the red zone. Liberty used it extensively on designed power.

Weak points

Willis is accurate across the board when his feet are planted and his reading is clear, but things get interesting – and not always in a good way – when he needs to progress through his progressions. He wasn’t asked to do much when it came to open-field reads in Liberty’s offense, and he often relied on natural play. Even when he’s just going through progressions before moving, he too often gets sloppy with his mechanics; more problematic, when he misses, he misses high. Even though it doesn’t show in his stat line, there is an element of recklessness in his game that will need to be mitigated at the next level.

Summary

It looks a bit like the poor man’s Trey Lance, albeit three inches shorter. He’s not quite in Lance’s class in terms of arm talent, and he’s even rawer coming into the NFL, but the game clearly shows the potential is there. He could enter the league as a gimmicky change of pace quarterback, but it will take the right coaching staff to make him consistent enough to be a quality starter.

Final grade: 2nd/3rd round

Year g O I YDS YPL PCT TD INT R-YDS TD

2017

7

0

0

45

6.4

85.7

1

0

221

1

2018

8

0

0

24

3.4

71.4

0

0

88

1

2020

ten

9

1

2,250

8.5

64.2

20

6

944

14

2021

13

8

5

2,857

8.4

61.1

27

12

878

13

Career

38

17

6

5,176

8.4

62.8

48

18

2,131

29

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