Is Malik Willis worth a top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft after Senior Bowl showing?
Malik Willis started his high school football career at Westlake High School in Atlanta, Georgia. However, before finishing high school, Willis transferred to Roswell High School also in Georgia. Here he had a very strong showing as a senior, passing for 2,562 yards and rushing for 1,033 yards. He scored 37 total touchdowns in his senior season at Roswell.
He then went on to commit to Auburn University after high school.
The start of Malik Willis’ college career can be filed away under “not great, Bob”. In his freshman and sophomore season, where he attended Auburn, he only attempted 14 passes, completing 11 of them for 69 yards and 1 touchdown.
However, before his junior season, Malik Willis entered the transfer portal and ended up at Liberty University. This ended up being a terrific move by Willis who played 23 games for the Flames. In two seasons at Liberty, Malik Willis completed 377 passes of 604 attempts for 5,107 passing yards and 47 touchdowns to only 17 interceptions.
On top of the passing work, Malik Willis showed his ability as a dual-threat quarterback, rushing for 1,822 yards on 338 carries and 27 touchdowns.
Malik Willis is a tremendously polarizing player. Some analysts don’t believe that he is ready to be an NFL starter and that he needs to sit a season or two. Others believe that he could (and should) be taken as high as Top 10 in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Whether he is ready or not to start in the NFL come opening day of the season remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain. Willis has a sky-high ceiling, and his rushing ability could make him an intriguing prospect for QB-needy NFL teams come the 2022 NFL Draft. In the Senior Bowl, Willis showed off said rushing ability as he ran for 54 yards on just four carries.
Physically, Malik Willis has everything. He might not be amongst the tallest quarterbacks, but his athleticism is up there with some of the best rushing QBs in the NFL. Another of his physical traits is the absolute cannon he has for an arm. He has almost unique physical traits for an NFL QB, which is going to entice a GM/HC combo to draft him.
When you look at Malik Willis’ skills as a quarterback, this is where the question marks begin to present themselves. The biggest issue our RotoHeat analysts have had with Willis is that he is incredibly inconsistent with his throws. One play he can throw an absolute dart with perfect placement. The next play he misses a wide-open receiver over the middle by several yards.
Willis needs to work on his pocket presence, accuracy, and decision-making if he is ever going to hold on to a starting QB job in the NFL for more than a couple of seasons. He trusts his physical tools too much, and in the NFL that can become dangerous. The pocket collapses much faster, and throwing lanes close much faster.
However, if a good coach gets his hands on Malik Willis and helps him develop, we could see an upside in the same vein of Josh Allen, who went from an unpolished QB prospect to one of the best QBs in the league.
In general, Malik Willis is one of the biggest boom or bust prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft, but it appears likely that at least one team is going to love him. We would be surprised if he lasts out of the top 20 in the 2022 NFL Draft with a handful of teams in the top 15 looking for the future of their franchise, and he could go as high as top 5 if the Giants decide it is time to move on from Daniel Jones.
Wherever Willis lands, he is going to be intriguing for fantasy. He could be a complete bust drafted way too early in fantasy rookie drafts or he could become a steal in SuperFlex leagues if fantasy managers are worried about his currently very low floor.
Thank you for reading this breakdown of Malik Willis. Where do you have him ranked among rookie quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL draft?
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