If you have been following Detroit Sports Nation (I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart), you probably know that I have been the conductor of the Malik Willis hype train for the past year and a half or so and the train just keeps chugging along.
I have seen all of the opinions, one way or the other in regards to Willis and what he will or will not be in the NFL. Heck, I have even tried to talk myself out of what I am about to tell you. But I just cannot do it and actually be truthful to you, our valued readers.
Malik Willis Is About To Take The NFL By Storm
Nation, Malik Willis is going to dominate the National Football League for the next decade and our Detroit Lions will have a shot at him when they are on the clock with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Now, there are plenty of haters who are trashing Willis and saying ignorant things about him just because they read something on the internet from a dude who read something else on the internet.
But folks, I am here to tell you that I have watched the tape and I have read the stories and there is no doubt in my mind that within the next five years, Willis will be considered one of the best quarterbacks in football.
The only question is, will the Lions be smart enough to block out the noise and select Willis, who is the best playmaker in the draft?
We will soon have the answer to that question, but for now, here are my reasons why selecting Willis at No. 2 is the best option for the Lions.
Natural Born Leader
Some people come out of the womb as a leader and Malik Willis is one of those people.
No matter who you talk to about Willis, or whatever video you watch of him interacting with his teammates or the media, it is obvious that there is just something different about him. His teammates trust him and gravitate toward him and that is one of the best traits you can have as a quarterback.
If the Lions select Willis with the No. 2 overall pick (even if Aidan Hutchinson is available), he will make the team and the fans very happy before all is said and done.
Upside Through The Roof!
When it comes to upside in this draft class, there is not a single player who has more than Malik Willis.
Not only does he have a cannon of an arm and throws an accurate deep ball when given time, but he can also throw intermediate routes as well as anyone else in this draft. The fact that Willis did what he did with limited talent (not a single player will be drafted) at Liberty is pretty damn impressive.
When it comes to making plays with his legs, he will immediately become one of the top rushing quarterbacks in the NFL along with Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, and Josh Allen. This is 2022 and it is a HUGE advantage to have a quarterback who can make plays with his feet if called upon. Willis is that guy.
ZERO Unfixable Weaknesses
As I said earlier, there are plenty of haters out there who are bashing Willis for this or that but what they are spewing is stuff that is fixable.
Here are Willis’ weaknesses, according to NFL analyst, Lance Zierlein.
- Set depth will get away from him at times.
- Below average climbing pocket and staying throw-ready.
- Drops eyes rather than standing in and delivering in the face of pressure.
- Too many missed opportunities to make easy, on-schedule throws.
- Allows throwing windows to close on him.
- Poor field recognition and progression quickness over second half of the season.
- Pressed and took unnecessary sacks.
- Throwing mechanics lack repeatable consistency.
- Needs to calm and settle his feet from the pocket.
- Elbow drop and overstride have been culprits.
- Deep balls can be rushed and a little flat.
- Lack of touch greatly diminishes his margin for error as a thrower.
- Ball placement causes stride breaks and adjustments for wideouts.
- Accuracy plummets when scrambling.
- Major struggles bringing in snaps and securing through contact in 2020.
First of all, reading through that list makes me chuckle a bit because many of those observations could be quite different had Willis not been on a team with a weak offensive line and little to no talent on the offensive side of the ball.
But as you look up and down that list, pretty much everything is correctable with good coaching AND a solid offensive line and offensive weapons.
If you trust Dan Campbell and the Lions’ coaching staff is capable of coaching Willis up, coupled with what is going to be one of the best offensive lines in the NFL for the foreseeable future, then you should not be too concerned about the weaknesses Willis currently has.
To win big in the NFL, you have to have a solid quarterback and that is something the Lions do not currently have. In a draft where there really is not a player that anyone would tab as a future Hall of Famer, it is almost a no-brainer for a team like Detroit to take a quarterback who could end up being the best playmaker of the bunch.
If the Detroit Lions pass on Malik Willis in the 2022 NFL Draft, they will regret it for years to come.