Malik Willis started his college career at Auburn University after starring at Roswell High School in Georgia. Willis ended up transferring to Liberty in 2018 when advised that he wouldn’t be the starter at Auburn.
While at Liberty, Willis attracted some eyes with quite a few awards and superlative statistical rankings, including ranking as the number 1 rushing QB in the country, amassing 944 rushing yards (1st in FBS) and 14 touchdowns(7th in FBS) in 2020. Willis also was awarded the Bobby Bowden Trophy, which is awarded to a player who is a tremendous student-athletes showcasing great character, faith, and contributions in his community in addition to work on the field. Truly an elite athlete with elite arm talent, Willis has the ability to be a franchise quarterback at the next level.
Here’s my evaluation of Malik Willis and why the Falcons could possibly have him on their radar.
Player Height/Weight: 6’0 ½ ” – 219 lbs
Games Watched: vs. Ole Miss(2021), vs. Old Dominion(2021), Vs. Virginia Tech(2020)
- Thick and powerful frame from top to bottom
- Amazing athlete and dual threat as a passer and runner
- Elite arm strength and able to make throws at all 3 levels
- Able to fit the ball into tight windows
- Dangerous in the open field as a runner
- Shows a quick release, yet able to change it based on situation
- Showed good improvement on blitz recognition
- Almost always makes the first defender miss when scrambling
- Very difficult to get to the ground based on his elusiveness and frame
- Can view the field and make all throws on boots and rollouts
- Good improvisation when plays break down
- Shows the ability to go through progressions in a calm pocket
- Outstanding leadership and character traits as players seem drawn to his personality
- Inconsistent technique on his drops when throwing
- Will need to work on footwork and his base as he can get too wide with his feet and it causes inaccuracy
- Accuracy takes a hit when on the move
- Too quick to drop his head and take off at the first sign of pressure
- Shows a lack of patience and will take the big shots instead of taking what the defense gives him
- Needs work on anticipation throws; needs to see it open to release
- Showed issues with ball security at times
It’s been quite some time since the Falcons have had to look for a signal caller in the draft. I’m the first to admit that I’m a very big Malik Willis fan. He is, without a doubt, the most physically gifted QB of the 2022 class, and his character is even better.
Willis shows the physical traits, leadership ability and football IQ that teams covet at the next level. In addition, teams won’t find a better person off the field, and he is an Atlanta native.
The caveat with Willis is that there are a lot of developmental aspects to his game to where he isn’t an immediate starter. Because of that, there are some that don’t see Willis as a top 10 pick. However, there are teams that will fall in love with his character and his massive potential at the position, especially if they have a ready-made bridge quarterback for 2022 while he develops. Given 1-2 seasons to learn and adapt to the speed of the game, I see Malik Willis as a future franchise quarterback.
The question here is, will Terry Fontenot and the Falcons front office seriously consider him at 8th overall if he’s there?