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NFL Mock Draft: Draft's 'Most Talented QB' to Washington?

NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper's first mock draft of the year has this class' 'most talented quarterback' heading to Washington.

Washington's need for a quarterback is no secret, and both coach Ron Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew have made it clear that they will look high and low this offseason to find their best option(s).

As far as NFL draft analyst - and best friend of Bill Tobin - Mel Kiper is concerned, the answer for Washington lies in the draft. Sorry, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers - apparently it's not meant to be. To be more specific, the answer hails not from North Carolina, Ole Miss, or Cincinnati, but from Liberty.

Says Kiper:

Time for the first quarterback off the board. You might be surprised that it's Willis, but you really shouldn't be. He was in the QB1 mix all fall before he faded a little bit in the last stretch of the regular season. The more tape I watch of his past two seasons and the more I talk to evaluators in the league, the more I like him. Put simply, Willis is the most talented quarterback in this class. He didn't always get to show that at Liberty, which didn't have much NFL talent around him. (He was sacked an astounding 51 times in 2021.) This is a dual-threat signal-caller -- he rushed for 1,822 yards and 27 touchdowns over the past two seasons -- with a powerful arm. I'm really excited to see him compete against the other top QBs in the Senior Bowl in a couple weeks. 

Like Denver, Washington could be in the veteran QB market, but I like the fit with Willis. Washington can't go into the season with Taylor Heinicke as the starter. - Mel Kiper, ESPN.

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After spending two years at Auburn, Willis transferred to Liberty in order to gain more playing time. Here he went on to make 23 appearances, passing for 5,107 yards and 47 touchdowns. Combine these stats with his aforementioned rushing record, and according to SI's NFL Draft Bible: "Willis possesses borderline-ideal traits for a dual-threat NFL quarterback."

Given his lack of top-level experience, Kiper mentioning that Washington could be on the lookout for a veteran feels like the right call. As with Patrick Mahomes with the Kansas City Chiefs, and Trey Lance with the San Francisco 49ers, Willis would likely benefit from potentially sitting a year behind a solid veteran. 

In that circumstance, the question is could Taylor Heinicke - their only quarterback under contract - fulfill this role, or should they be on the lookout elsewhere?