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What They're Saying: Lions Are Team That's Been Connected to Malik Willis

Here is what the national media is saying about Liberty quarterback Malik Willis.
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Following his pro day at Liberty, quarterback Malik Willis has seen his draft stock steadily rise. 

Pundits and draft analysts alike have even commented that Willis could be drafted as high as No. 2 overall by the Detroit Lions

If Detroit decides to pass, a team like the Atlanta Falcons or the Carolina Panthers could take a chance on him in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Lions general manager Brad Holmes was asked about the possibility of drafting a quarterback to sit and learn behind veteran signal-caller Jared Goff. 

"Sure, I could see some advantage, if there is a young quarterback that can learn under Jared," Holmes said. "I don’t think Jared would have any issues taking on that role. He’s had more younger guys with less experience behind him, so he’d be very comfortable with that."

Here is a sample of what the national media has been saying about Willis ahead of the draft.

Sports Illustrated

"The Lions are a team that’s been connected to Willis, and if they see him as a potential 15-year starter at the position, they absolutely, positively should consider the possibility of drafting him second overall.

What they shouldn’t do is just take a quarterback to take one (see: Minnesota, 2011; Buffalo, 2013), because that’s where teams get themselves in trouble. And so it’s on Holmes and his staff, and Campbell and his, to determine not just whether or not Willis can be a good NFL quarterback, but good enough to compete with the guys like Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes over the next decade or so.

If you don’t think he is (and that doesn’t mean he has to be better than those guys, just able to run with him), then you can’t draft him that high. If you think he is, it’d be hard not to."



"I’ve been saying this for nearly a month now, but I still think there’s a strong possibility that it will be Liberty quarterback Malik Willis. If it’s not, however, then I wouldn’t write off the possibility of the Lions taking an offensive lineman -- whether that’s Ikem Ekwonu or Evan Neal. A league source I spoke to recently raised that possibility."

"The QB acknowledged that he missed a couple of throws during his post-workout interview with NFL Network's Steve Wyche. It's true that his ball placement wasn't perfect every time, but all in all, Willis was very impressive during his throwing session.

There was no question about his arm strength -- he proved that during his college career and at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month – but he still showed off his ability on some deep passes that drew big reactions from the crowd gathered for the workout in Lynchburg, Virginia. That said, he displayed the ability to slow the tempo down on underneath throws when necessary. Also, he took some snaps from under center, which was important, considering he worked pretty much exclusively from the shotgun in high school and college."

CBS Sports

"Willis is a truly incredible athlete as a runner in the open field. He'll be an immediate weapon on broken plays, but also designed quarterback runs. Liberty used him in a variety of ways as a runner, but at the NFL level that will mostly look like the zone-read run game we've seen become popular across the NFL. He also has experience and success as a red-zone rusher. ... 

Although not always consistent, Willis demonstrates the combination of velocity and ball placement that can rival the top quarterbacks you see on NFL Sundays -- this allows him to throw into tight windows that some NFL quarterbacks won't even attempt.

Willis can operate the RPO game at a high level and there are countless examples of him doing something we don't often see from even some NFL QBs when it comes to the RPO game -- throwing hole shots into tight coverage windows off the RPO play action."