2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Liberty QB Malik Willis

In an NFL Draft class without a clear cut QB option, Malik Willis has a good chance to be a first round pick. Having accepted an invite to the 2022 Senior Bowl, the former Liberty stand out will have a chance to showcase his abilities to the entire NFL. However, what does the film say? In this 2022 NFL Draft scouting report, we’ll breakdown what Malik Willis does so well, and why he’s considered to be one of the top quarterback prospects, and what his performance in the Senior Bowl might look like.

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Malik Willis 40 Time

Malik Willis is incredibly fast. In his sophomore year at Auburn Univeristy back in 2018, it was reported that he ran a 4.37 40 yard dash. As he has matured and developed his body, there is reason to believe he may have even gotten faster. Since 2000 only two quarterbacks have ran a 40 yard dash that was sub 4.4: Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick. If Willis chooses to run at the Combine, look for him to join that group.

Malik Willis Injury History

Luckily for Willis, he has mostly avoided injury throughout his career. Aside from a minor injury to his foot in 2021, he has nothing worth noting in this area. The foot injury also does not seem to be anything that will affect him long term.

 

Malik Willis Scouting Report

Pros
  • Elite Running Ability
  • Raw Arm Talent
  • Throwing Mechanics
Cons
  • Stares Down Receivers Too Often
  • Ability To Create In The Passing Game
  • Adjusting To Speed Versus Defense

Malik Willis is a two-year starter for the Liberty Flames. Prior to his time at Liberty, he spent two years at Auburn University. When compared to the league average, Willis is a bit shorter, but does possess solid weight for the position. Additionally, his 40 time is very gods and well-below the league average.

The first thing that jumps off the film with Malik Willis is his running ability. As mentioned, he is incredibly fast which makes him a threat in the open field. More than this however, his creativity in the open field is astounding as he routinely leaves defenders looking silly. This ability as a runner will be his biggest x-factor in his NFL career. In addition to this, Willis has a more than capable arm for the NFL. Able to throw the ball from sideline to sideline with ease, he can puch the ball doen field as well. This arm talent is certainly raw and needs to be cultivated, he can misfire on some easy ones at times, but it is certainly there.

Alas, there is lots of work to do with Willis. Firstly, he will have to take a massive leap forward when adjusting to NFL speed. Having played at Liberty, he has been the best athlete on the field at almost all times. In the biggest game of his career against #8 Ole Miss in 2021, he struggled immensely with three interceptions. With these struggles he has ahead of him, he also has a massive issue of staring down receivers. Coupled with these issues is his tendency to panic under pressure. When these moments happen, he fails to keep his eyes down the field and be creative in the passing game. Instead he will almost always look to tuck the ball and run. While this is a good option at times, the best scrambling quarterbacks also make plays out of structure in the passing game.

 

Malik Willis NFL Draft Projection

Currently, Malik Willis draft stock is completely in the air. While he has plenty of quality traits that will entice NFL teams to take a chance on him, he also needs lots of work. As such, Malik Willis’ performance at the 2022 Senior Bowl could go a very long way in determining the finality of his draft stock. In order for a team to feel comfortable selecting him, a good offensive system and players in place will be paramount. For Willis, I will likely have him with a day two grade and would like to see him land with either the Saints, Steelers or Colts.

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