NFL Draft Profile: Liberty Quarterback Malik Willis

by Pat Pryor
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Malik Willis could be the first quarterback off the board in this unique 2022 NFL Draft class. After two years at Auburn and two at Liberty, he’s ready to join the ranks of the NFL. He was the 2020 Cure Bowl MVP and the 2021 LendingTree Bowl MVP, bringing Liberty their second and third bowl games since joining the FBS in 2018.

NFL Draft Measurables

Height 6’1/2″ Wingspan 77-3’8” Vertical N/A
Weight 219 40-time N/A Bench N/A
Hand 9-1/2” Shuttle N/A 3-Cone N/A
Arm 31-6/8” Broad Jump N/A RAS N/A

 

How We Grade

Grade Player Meaning Grade Player Meaning
9.5-10 Generational Player 6-6.4 Average Starter
9-9.4 Consistent All-Pro 5.5-5.9 Below-Average Starter
8.5-9 All-Pro Caliber 5-5.4 Developmental Player
8-8.4 Consistent Pro-Bowler 4.5-4.9 Special Teams Player
7.5-7.9 Pro-Bowl Caliber 4-4.4 Practice Squad
7-7.4 Above Average Stater 3-4 Journeyman PS
6.5-6.9 Above-Average Starter 0-2.9 Free Agent

NFL Draft Evaluation

 

Arm Strength 8.5 Athleticism 8.25
Arm Talent 8.5 Decision-Making 6
Short Accuracy 5.5 Processing 6.25
Medium-Deep Accuracy 5.75 Productivity 6.25
Mechanics 5.5 Football IQ 6
Footwork 5.25 Size 7
Pocket Presence 5
Scrambling/Mobility 8.5 Overall 6.58

Strengths

Great contact balance and rushing vision for a quarterback. Barrels downfield as a runner with quality acceleration. Has fantastic arm talent. Possesses a powerful arm with a quick, tight release and high velocity. Has the strength to make any throw, is able to fit within tight windows when accurate. Has significant bright spots in deep and sideline accuracy. Makes good decisions, doesn’t throw too many dangerous balls. Was able to produce despite poor offensive line play and a painfully simple offense. Dropped from 17 fumbles to 3 in his final year (PFF). Goes through his progressions well, makes good reads.

Weaknesses

Doesn’t always get his footwork started, can be a mess even when he does. Often won’t drop back until he’s under pressure, isn’t light on his feet. Takes off way too early, needs to step up and find the open receiver. His accuracy is inconsistent at best. Can throw slightly behind receivers while they’re moving, or above receivers over the middle. Mechanics can be awkward, tends to push the ball up as he’s throwing resulting in the aforementioned accuracy issue.

Summary

Malik Willis possesses superb physical tools, which grants him a sky-high ceiling. However, he has a long way to go before anyone will trust him to take an NFL field. He’s inconsistent with accuracy, his footwork just isn’t there, and he has questionable mechanics. However, his ability to make any throw on the football field is clearly there, and any team willing to take a risk by selecting him may be in for lucrative reward.

He needs work, his offense at Liberty was too simple and didn’t provide for much development. But he’s a smart player who doesn’t throw a ton of interceptions, and he’s got plenty of arm talent. If a team is willing to improve his weak areas, he could be a very good quarterback.

Round Grade: 2nd

Round Projection: 1st

Team Fits: NO, PIT, DET

Floor: Average Backup

Ceiling: All-Pro Caliber QB

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