If there is the possibility that a prospect can be overhyped in May for the NFL Draft over eleven months later, Willis found himself in that position this off-season. Certainly, it’s undeniable that Willis has big-level traits. The transfer from Auburn has a huge arm and is an electric athlete. This combination of traits allows Willis to be solid as both a runner downfield and an improviser as a passer. Willis is capable of throwing off-platform with velocity and from many different arm angles.
QB – #7 Liberty
Year: Redshirt Junior (5th year)
High School: Roswell (Atlanta, GA)
HS Rating: 3 star (0.8857)
Phil Steele: PS#102
Malik Willis Scouting Report
Arm strength is there, it’ll be among the best in the class. Has the ability to really unload it. Can throw quickly and off-platform with strength and velocity. Pushes the ball long distance where it needs to go. Tends to be quite unconventional. Elongated release, especially when he goes to make high-velocity throws. Has the ability to throw from different arm angles effectively. Throws well off-platform. Fairly accurate. Box accurate quarterback. Struggles to throw the far-out accurately. He needs to put the ball in front of the receiver. I think the deep out is going to be a serious issue for Willis. Really is all over the place trying to throw that. I’d be pretty concerned with his consistency.
Flashes the ability to throw accurately on big throws. Has really improved tremendously with the consistency of his deep ball. Will try to force throws into coverage at times. His placement is very boxy. Needs to work on reading coverages to be more consistent. Still not as good with his placement of the deep ball, but there’s been a marked improvement from 2020. Works surprisingly well from the pocket. Doesn’t adjust as well as you’d like to see but has good upper body strength to absorb contact as he throws without losing the accuracy and velocity. Looks like he really studies opposing defenses’ blitz packages because he reacts very well to them.
Footwork could use some work, is raw and inconsistent. Shrugs under pressure and steps away from the throw. Has very quick feet, so the upside is there. Excellent athlete outside of the pocket. Solid athlete with some real ability as a runner. Elite downfield running ability would be top five in the NFL immediately upon entry. Very good improviser to keep the play alive. Works well against blitzes. Moves well and see’s his receivers well. Offers serious dual-threat ability and can still stretch the field with his arm. Has the athleticism to move the ball outside of the pocket, but tries to force big plays to happen sometimes. Works through his progressions quickly and effectively.
What we want to see from Malik Willis in Mobile
- Malik Willis has the potential to be a superstar, and he’s got to be more consistent throwing the deep ball. He’s struggled overall to throw accurately deep although he has taken strides in this department over the 2021 off-season. We want to see those strides continue.
- While the deep ball has been inconsistent in Willis’ game, we also haven’t seen him throwing too many anticipation throws through windows as they open. That’s something that we would like to see change. There won’t be too many opportunities for Willis to show it outside of the game, but it would be nice to see him build that repiture with the wide receivers at the event.
Pre-Senior Bowl projection
Malik Willis is a versatile playmaker with the most explosive athletic ability at the position in the draft. Perhaps it’s the #7 that he dons, but his play style reminds me specifically of Michael Vick. He has a strong arm and the same electric running style and he is a joy to watch.
We project Willis as a high-end backup/low-end day one starter with the potential to grow into the top ten at the position. In the modern NFL, teams are willing to take a chance on a projected low-end day one starter if it means some promise of success. Willis looks like one of those guys. We like him as a solid first-round prospect and will look to solidify that with a strong performance in Mobile.