NFL Draft 2022: Here’s why Liberty’s Malik Willis should be the first QB selected

The 2022 NFL Draft isn’t the 2021 NFL Draft when it comes to “can’t-miss” prospects at the quarterback. It probably won’t match the “public draft era” (since 1967) record of five in the first 15 picks a year ago (equivalent to 1999 for most taken in the first 15 picks).

However, a lot of NFL teams enter each season unhappy with their man in the most important position in the game. After all, not every team has Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes.

For teams that need a midfielder in the future, look no further than Liberty player Malik Willis. He has the strongest arm in the draft and the best running ability in this position, using both to find the end zone more than any other midfielder in this category over the two seasons (2020-2021) as the Flames starter.

Here’s more on why Willis should be the first to call an off-board signal in the draft of the night.

arm like a rocket launcher

Watching Willis deeply can put a smile on the face of any football fan. Football floats in the air and smoke rises with each narrow vortex. One of the craziest elements of the 80s clip of his deep passes below is that whether he’s standing in the pocket or rolling left or right, the power in every throw feels exactly the same—full throttle.

Malik Willis has been my No. 1 linebacker for a while. Pocket navigation and super accurate decisions, he’s strong in those areas. But the physical traits are going through the roof and matching the young wave of today in the center quarter. He’s an exceptional athlete who can become a A star as a jammer and in tailored running game, most importantly, he’s capable of throwing a high degree of difficulty at all levels of the field.His natural skill surpasses any other quarterback in the CBS Sports NFL project, said Chris Trapsow, CBS Sports NFL Project Writer.

This throw down against the UAB showcases Willis’s ability to make a quick decision, puts himself in a position to make the best pass based on where he expects his receiver to be, and fires a shot for a 30-35 yard profit despite not placing his feet A defender in his face. These are the kinds of throws that Mahomes and Bells quarterback Josh Allen make at The Next Level regularly, separating them from their peers.

One of the blows against Willis is that Liberty, being a smaller school, doesn’t give him the ability to regularly compete against the best of the best in the Power Five conferences. However, Willis made the most of his chance against Virginia Tech, leading the Flames to a 38-35 win on the road in 2020. In a game in which Willis totaled 325 yards (217 passes and 108 lunges) to match up with four touchdowns (three passes and one lunge), this down throw shines brightly. He ran his back on the blocking mission, leaving Willis in a poor position against a strong defensive linebacker. No problem, as it spins away and opens a perfect stock for its receiver for gains close to 50 yards while unbalanced.

It’s a ridiculous throw that doesn’t look very different from the one Rodgers made against the Dallas Cowboys in the 2016 Divisional Playoffs. A throw put Packers kicker Mason Crosby in a position to kick the award-winning field goal as the time runs out.

Of course, Rodgers does it in the NFL playoffs, while Willis throws this college-level offense against an ACC opponent. Willis will definitely need to up his Football IQ when it comes to learning the kind of schemes run by NFL crime, but he is confident that he will be able to succeed in whatever system he is put into. In fact, when asked in the combination what type of attack is best suited to him at the next level, Willis simply replied: “One scores the points.”

Another reason not to view Willis as a sure thing is his arm strength, his accuracy could use improvement. (Willis never had a completion rate higher than 65% at Liberty.) But this does not mean that he cannot make great strides in this department in a short time.

Ryan Wilson:

There are plenty of instances on the tape where you’re left wondering what happened; Whether it’s a bad interception, a missed reading, or an inaccurate pass. And while these concerns aren’t unique to Willis – every midfielder on the planet has made these mistakes – the frequency with which he spoke gives you pause when it comes to drafting him into the top 10. Hence the work begins. Because it’s easy for an NFL team to shut him down, wave his arm and say, “There’s no way we can pull this player so high.” And it’s also easy to yell, “But tools! We can make this work, so let’s roll the dice!” And maybe you get Josh Allen…or you could end up with Mitch Trubisky.

Just take a look at Allen, another great quarterback from a small school (Wyoming) who finished seventh overall in 2018. Allen had no more than a 60% completion percentage once he became a full-time sophomore, This was not the case. It wasn’t until his third season in the NFL that he found his accuracy. Since then, Allen has been second on the MVP list (second to Aaron Rodgers in 2020) while leading the Bills to back-to-back seasons with playoff wins for the first time since the Jim Kelly era in the ’90s. He is also the only player in NFL history with more than 100 passing attacks (103) and 30 fast attacks (31) in the first four seasons combined.

Comparison of the last two seasons of Malik Willis and Josh Allen

Completion rate

64.2%

61.1%

56.0%

56.3%

pass YPG

225.0

219.8

228.9

164.7

Passing TD-INT . Ratio

20-6

12-27

28-15

16-6

Willis admitted in the assemble that his accuracy could be better, and he has a pretty good idea of ​​how to improve it.

“Sure [need to work on] “I’ve tried to be as consistent as possible in my base because that’s where some of the flaws in my game come from, maybe some bugs,” Willis said while collecting.

And even with footwork that will need to be refined to the next level, Willis has demonstrated the ability to find success in playing as a passing even when his unrefined foot fails, as shown at Senior Bowl in February.

Legs like Lamar Jackson and Galen Hurts

While there are some questions about Willis as a bystander, there is nothing about him as a runner. He was the most elusive runner in college football in 2021, leading the country in missed saves before Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III, who named Doak Walker the best sprinter in country history.

Most missed tackles in running (season 2021) *

  1. QB Malek Willis (Liberty) is 90
  2. RB Kenneth Walker III (Michigan): 89
  3. RP Isaiah Evans (Montana): 88
  4. Ramon Jefferson (Sam Houston State) ranked 87
  5. RB Jaylen Warren (Oklahoma): 85

* Statistics for each PFF

Willis made his best impression on Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s speed combined with Eagles’ Galen Hurts’ ability to shrug off defenders multiple times during the college and pre-draft process. There hasn’t been more quarterback rushing yards (1,822) or rushing TD (27) than Willis over the past two seasons for good reason. Players who routinely try to deal with Willis seem to be a slow move.

Here he is in Senior Bowl looking like the Ravens quarterback, outsmarting some of the top tier men in the country as he slashes across the entire field.

Not only does Willis have high speed, but his agility is just as strong, as shown here, leaving a top 20 Ole Miss defender in the dust. Playing like this, along with arm talent, are among the reasons why there’s a good chance his name will be heard in the first round.

On top of the boom cannon and the ability to cut a single coin, Willis showcased the kind of off-the-field driving any business owner is looking for, and doing the right thing when no one is looking. It became a popular topic on Twitter because he went out of his way to treat a homeless pregnant woman with kindness and generosity through Give her some NFL clothes It was given for this week.

In general, Willis owns elite tools. He’s not quite on Jackson’s level in terms of speed, but he has the potential to become a top five in the NFL right in the middle. His arm talent is outstanding, both in terms of pure strength and touch to hit his target in several different locations around the field.

Willis hasn’t led an attack that mirrors what’s running on Sunday, but if an offensive scheme is built around his skill set, he could lead the team to the playoffs sooner rather than later — just as Jackson and Hurts did. In the end, the player with his cap deserves to be the first player behind the middle off the board.

“In an ideal world, he would be recruited into a position where he is not required to start from day one. It would be in his best interest to land with a team that has a veteran or quarterback player so that he can develop at his own pace. Team traits prevail and Willis has an upside more than Any other midfielder is in this category.In the same vein, he also carries a high degree of risk as a player who has to speed up his tackle and be more effective during mid-midfield,” said Josh Edwards, CBS Sports NFL draft writer.

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