Pro Football Focus analyst Michael Renner ranked Liberty’s Malik Willis as an early Top 5 quarterback prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft. Willis made the list at the No. 3 prospect behind Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (No. 1) and North Carolina’s Sam Howell (No. 2). Willis came ahead of USC’s Kedon Slovis (No. 4) and Nevada’s Carson Strong (No. 5).
“Willis has the best physical tools of any quarterback in this draft class,” Renner wrote of the Liberty quarterback. “Between his creativity as a runner and cannon as a passer, Willis has the uncoachable playmaking ability that everyone wants in the NFL nowadays. He uncorked one of the farthest throws you’ll see in college football last year — a bomb that traveled nearly 70 yards in the air against Louisiana-Monroe. Those kinds of jaw-dropping bombs are not uncommon on his tape.”
Renner also pointed Willis’ running ability and where he could see the most improvement.
“He also is quite easily the best runner among the top 2022 quarterback prospects, earning an 83.1 rushing grade this past season while averaging 8.7 yards per carry for his career,” he wrote. “At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Willis has a running back build that makes it seem like his mobile skill set will translate to the league.”
“It’s the consistency and mechanics in Willis’ game that are the issue. It’s why he managed only one more big-time throw (20) than turnover-worthy play last season (19). He tries to make plays to a fault sometimes and needs to learn when nothing is there. He’s got a long way to go, but for his first season as a starter, 2020 was very encouraging.”
In his first season starting at quarterback for the Flames, Willis led all FBS quarterbacks with 944 rushing yards to go along with his 14 rushing touchdowns. He completed 64.2% of his passes for 2,260 yards, 20 touchdowns, and six interceptions.