Malik Willis, Liberty
2020: 170 comp./ 265 att./ 2250 yards/ 20 TDs/ 6 INTs/ 155.8 ratiing
2021: 207 comp./ 339 att./ 2857 yards/ 27 TDs/ 12 INTs/ 151.1 rating
When Malik Willis transferred to Liberty College, he did it for one reason: to get on the field. After two years with Auburn, there was no end in sight to his playing time woes. Willis single-handedly made Liberty relevant in the college football world when he put up 5,107 yards, 47 TDs, and 18 INTs over those 2 years. Oh, he also ran for 1,822 yards and 27 TDs. No reasonable argument can be made against him being a dynamic NFL prospect; that being said, there are some questions.
When you first put Malik’s tape on, he’s clearly the best football player on the field most of the time. That should be the case because you have to dominate at this level to even be considered for the NFL. He definitely needs to clean up his mechanics a bit. His non-throwing arm technique can be sloppy. He has been known to take some risks out there as well, relying on his gifted arm talent to bail him out. The NFL speed could be a huge learning curve, and I won’t be shocked to hear negative training camp reports to begin his career.
However, there is a lot to like about Malik as well. He has the best arm in this draft class and shows he is more than capable of incredible ball placement and touch. Obviously, he is also a skilled rusher, and I expect him to have a really nice rushing TD line in most years. His upside knows no bounds, it’s just a long way until he gets there. He’s a very high-risk, high-reward type of dynasty prospect.
For fantasy, I see no reason he can’t eventually become a top-7 QB. He’s very raw though. Ideally, you want him to sit for 2 YEARS minimum. This is probably why I won’t be drafting WIllis. He will be cheaper next off-season. If you believe in him, that is the ideal strategy in my opinion. His value should decrease after the draft, not go up.
Best Landing Spots: NOLA, DEN, MIN, PIT
Arm Talent: 9/10
- Strongest arm in the class.
- Can be inconsistent.
- Has no problem in bad weather putting the ball where he wants to.
- Can get the ball over the CB and in front of the Safety in Cover 2 looks.
- Really can put the ball on a rope at all levels of the field.
- Shows nice touch throwing downfield.
- Takes advantage of soft coverages with his arm power.
- Obviously a good runner—but a little overrated as a runner at the same time.
- Has good start and stop ability.
- Gets upfield and into the 3rd level very quickly.
- Want to see him slide more.
- Hard to wrap up and bring down.
- Not crazy fast vertically.
- I’d like to see him outrun and pull away from his inferior opposition more often than I do.
- Throws a pretty ball on the run.
Pocket Presence 6/10
- Can step up in the pocket and keep eyes downfield, as well as reset and throw quickly.
- Feels defenders nicely.
- Shows that he knows where his best help is when moving in the pocket.
- Can be surprised with blitz pressure.
- Nice and fluid with a clean pocket.
- Elbow too far out during wind-up, you want him to get his non-throwing elbow in tighter to his body.
- His mechanics look good in a clean pocket.
- Diagnoses zone coverages well.
- Sometimes he doesn’t see his wide-open outlets—often the case with a young QB
- Leans away from contact in the screen game and misses some of the throws.
- You can see him making multiple reads.
- Shows ability to take advantage of defensive leverage, and put the ball on the correct shoulder for maximum YAC/RAC.
- Protects his WRs from big hits with his ball placement.
- Understands momentum and its effect on ball placement.