Liberty quarterback Malik Willis is in Mobile, Alabama this week as he prepares for the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl. This is the first of several big dates in the coming weeks for Willis as he prepares for the April 2022 NFL Draft where he continues to be projected as first round pick.
In his final collegiate game, Willis completed 13 of 24 passes for 231 yards and 3 touchdowns and 8 carries for 65 yards and 2 additional touchdowns as he was named the MVP of the 2021 Lending Tree Bowl, helping Liberty to a 56-20 win over Eastern Michigan.
The 6’0″, 220 pound athlete and native of Atlanta, Georgia, finished his time at Liberty with a 17-6 record as a starting quarterback. This past season, Willis completed 207 of 339 passes for 2,857 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He also led the Flames in rushing with 878 yards and 13 touchdowns on 197 carries.
The biggest question mark around Willis is how he compared to some of the other top quarterbacks in this draft class based on Liberty and Willis not competing at the Power Five level week in and week out. This week at the Senior Bowl will be the first of several opportunities over the next few weeks where he can be on the same field, going through the same drills with those other quarterbacks.
Willis is the sixth player in Liberty football history to receive an invitation to the Senior Bowl. He joins Wayne Haddix (DB, 1987), Eric Green (TE, 1990), Rashad Jennings (RB, 2009), Walt Aikens (DB, 2014), and Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR, 2020). He can use this week to solidify his first round NFL Draft potential.
Willis is one of six quarterbacks in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, being joined by Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, Nevada’s Carson Strong, Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe, and North Carolina’s Sam Howell. Willis, Zappe, and Howell are on the American team which is coached by the Detroit Lions’ coaching staff. Willis and the American team will begin practice on Tuesday afternoon with practices also on Wednesday and Thursday all from 3-5 pm EST.
On Monday, all the players were weighed and measured in. Here’s a look at where Willis checked in compared to the other quarterbacks:
Willis – HEIGHT: 6003 WEIGHT: 220 HAND: 9 4/8 ARM: 31 6/8 WING: 77 3/8
Ridder – HEIGHT: 6030 WEIGHT: 207 HAND: 10 ARM: 32 7/8 WING: 78 7/8
Pickett – HEIGHT: 6032 WEIGHT: 217 HAND: N/A ARM: 30 5/8 WING: 72 6/8
Strong – HEIGHT: 6036 WEIGHT: 226 HAND: 9 2/8 ARM: 31 5/8 WING: 76 5/8
Zappe – HEIGHT: 6003 WEIGHT: 213 HAND: 9 6/8 ARM: 31 2/8 WING: 74 6/8
Howell – HEIGHT: 6002 WEIGHT: 221 HAND: 9 1/8 ARM: 31 1/8 WING: 75 5/8
The Senior Bowl is this Saturday at 2:30 ET and will be televised on the NFL Network.
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) January 31, 2022
— Liberty Football (@LibertyFootball) January 26, 2022
— Matt Karoly (@mattkaroly) January 25, 2022
My favourite stat of the day – Liberty QB Malik Willis has more rushing yards since 2020 (2,263) than the Doak Walker winner Kenneth Walker (2,213) pic.twitter.com/A57Rtev5XW
— Jack Brentnall (@Jack_Brentnall) January 29, 2022