Originally published prior to the start of the 2021 NFL season
Though Malik Willis was not quite as spectacular in 2021 as he was in 2020, he did complete 61.1% of his passes for 27 TDs and 12 INTs in 2021. He has also carried the ball 197 times for 878 yards and 13 TDs. Don’t be surprised if the Detroit Lions select him with their second pick in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
We know that Jared Goff will be the Detroit Lions starting quarterback in 2021 and he will likely be their starter in 2022. But, during those two seasons, will Goff prove to the Lions that he is their QB of the future?
Personally, I believe in Goff more than most do and I do think there is a small chance of him signing an extension before his current contract expires.
But what if Goff is what most believe he is, a spot holder until the Lions can find their next QB of the future?
If Goff cannot prove himself worthy of keeping into the future, the Lions will certainly look at selecting a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft and they could very well land themselves who I believe will be an even better Lamar Jackson.
That player is Liberty quarterback, Malik Willis.
Most of you are probably not very familiar with Willis as he does not play for a Power 5 team but he is definitely a player to watch closely this coming season and as the 2022 NFL Draft approaches.
Willis is without question the most athletic quarterback who will be draft-eligible in 2022 and like Lamar Jackson, he is not afraid to take off and run for big yardage if he needs to. In fact, in 2020 (10 games), Willis carried the ball 141 times for 944 yards and 14 touchdowns. Malik is also built to run the football and he is more than willing to break a tackle to pick up extra yardage.
But what makes Willis even better than Jackson is that he can throw the football effectively. In 2020, Willis completed 64.2% of his passes for 2,250 yards and 20 touchdowns to go along with just six interceptions. Not only does he have an absolute cannon for an arm but Willis can throw from multiple arm angles and still fit the ball into even the tightest of spaces.
Now, is Willis the perfect QB? No. He still needs to work to improve his decision-making skills and it will be interesting to see if he does that during his senior season at Liberty. If he does, do not be surprised at all if he is one of the top QBs selected in the 2022 NFL Draft, and do not be surprised at all if it is the Detroit Lions who select him.
If you have not seen Willis play, here are some highlights from 2021.