Raiders 2022 NFL Draft: Jason Willis’s Top-7 Quarterback Rankings
Grade: Second Round
Hailing from Liberty University which has produced quarterbacks the likes of Buckshot Calvert and Josh Woodrum, Malik Willis is making an incredible jump in competition. After transferring from Auburn, Willis started at Liberty in both 2020 and 2021. His final season was his best as he recorded 2,857 yards and 27 touchdowns through the air and an additional 878 yards and thirteen touchdowns on the ground.
As is evident by his rushing stats, Willis is a fantastic athlete capable of becoming his own check down by using his legs and he can create by design in the run game as well. He will be one of the NFL’s premier rushing threats from the QB position as his open field creativity is rarely seen at the position.
In addition, he has a big-time arm in terms of strength and velocity. In terms of physical tools, there are very few questions.
Of course, the biggest adjustment that Willis will have to make is in competition. Playing at lowly Liberty University, Willis rarely saw glimpses of NFL speed. In 2021, the closest he came was against Ole Miss where he had one of his worst games and tossed three interceptions.
This, along with a tendency to panic under pressure and stare down receivers, creates a worrisome outlook for his initial NFL projection.
Instead, Willis should undoubtedly sit for a year or maybe even more. After a good showing at the Senior Bowl, there is a good chance that Willis is a first-round pick. However, the potential certainly exists for him to fulfill his potential if taken in round one but it is going to take a lot of work. Either way, he is not a finished product and is certainly not ready to go week one.