2021 - Old Dominion, Ole Miss, Syracuse
The two main things that stand out with Willis are athleticism and arm talent. Has the speed, agility, and overall athletic ability to become one of the better dual threat quarterbacks in the league. Once he hits the open field and gets vertical, not many defenders are able to catch him. Will have one of if not the strongest arm in this year's draft. He can truly sling it down the field with good touch on the ball. Has a great amount of zip on the ball in the short and intermediate passing game, making it harder for defenders to jump routes. All of these tools help him to make plays on the fly when nothing is there which makes him very tough to defend. Production in the past two seasons speaks for itself as he was one of the more successful players at his position numbers wise.
Very raw as a passer. Will need to clean up his footwork and quick release mechanics at the next level. He was talented enough to get away with them in college but it won't work in the NFL. Accuracy is also a big concern as he was far too inconsistent at all levels. Must get better at manuevering in the pocket. Has to learn to feel where the pressure is coming from and step up or around in the pocket accordingly. Also can't let pressure effect his throws as much as it can lead to turnovers far too often. Needs to get better with his decision making, trusting his talent too much came back to bite him this past season when forcing passes into coverage. Poor play against higher competition could also be a concern but I wouldn't look too much into it as his talent around him was extremely outmatched.
Malik Willis is one of the more intriguing prospects in this draft class with many varying opinions on him. Started off at Auburn in a backup role before transferring to Liberty for his final two seasons. Burst onto the scene in his first season with the Flames, throwing for 2,250 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions, putting him on many draft boards as a top level quarterback coming into the 2021 season. Continued to impress as a senior, finishing with 2,857 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. His play earned him an invitation to the 2022 Reese's Senior Bowl, which he accepted. Also showed great ability as a runner, combining for 1,822 yards and 27 touchdowns in his two seasons at Liberty. At the next level, he is an interesting quarterback prospect as he has all the tools that you see in some of these top young quarterbacks in the league but is very raw as a passer. If he can clean up his areas of weakness, he is going to be a star at the next level. However, it could take a situation where he is eased into the starting spot or has great weapons around him. I compare him between Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen as some of his athletic ability and inconsistent passing remind me of Hurts but his arm talent and style of play mirror Josh Allen, especially in his early career. I see him developing as a passer and being a Pro Bowl type of quarterback in the league. In this draft class, I have a first round grade on him but with as close as these top quarterbacks are in talent, he could go anywhere from first quarterback off the board to slipping to the second round.
Jalen Hurts/Josh Allen
Is a true dual threat that makes defenses respect him as a passer and ball carrier. Does a great job of scrambling when nothing is there to pick up extra yards. Is extremely explosive in the open field, using his top end speed and burst to run away from defenders. Shows quickness and agility in the open field when stopping on the dime and making moves to make defenders miss. Has good RPO/Play action experience which could help his value but does struggle with reads at times. Tends to keep the ball too much or wait too long which gives defenders a chance to close in on him. Has the speed to get away from pass rushers but needs to show that he has a better feel for the pocket. Often steps in to pressure instead of avoiding it.
Scrambling Ability and
RPO and Play Action
Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure
Big Play Ability
Big Play Ability
Touch and Ball Placement
Has very impressive arm talent. Can sling the deep ball with minimal effort. Shows solid touch on the deep ball, putting it where only his receiver can get it. Footwork will need work at the next level. Doesn't take many true drops. Does a sort of quick shuffle back into the pocket instead of a clean drop. In his quick release, he can take too long to get the ball out at times, leading to inconsistent accuracy in the short game. Delivers a good ball with a nice amount of zip. Overall accuracy is a concern. Is very hit or miss in short and intermediate passing game. Saw a lot of overthrows and just simply off target passes in the deep game. Does have the tools to put it all together to step up and make big plays at any given moment.
Poise in Pocket
Very high production in his time at Liberty. Threw for over 2,000 yards in last two seasons, with 2,857 in 2021. Was also a touchdown machine. Only concern this past season were his 12 interceptions. Great leadership ability as he always seemed to be in complete control of the offense and kept fighting no matter what the situation was. His athleticism and arm talent help him create something out of nothing when the play breaks down. Pocket poise could use some work. Needs to get a better feel for when pressure is coming so that he can step up and avoid. Let the pressure effect his throws too often.
Seems to have a great feel for the game. Knows when to take off and run as needed. Field vision is inconsistent. There are times where he puts the ball wherever he wants all over the field and others where he just simply doesn't seem to see the defender. Decision making was also an issue as he trusts his arm talent too much at times, leading to forced bad passes and turnovers. Also struggles with decisions in RPO situations, keeping the ball too often, leading to defensive stops. Shows that he is capable of getting up to the line and making adjustments based on defensive fronts and blitz recognition.