By: JaDarius McCoy
Malik Willis (Quarterback #7)
6’0 220 lbs
22 y/o Redshirt Junior Liberty
(Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
Games watched: CAMP(‘21), OLE(‘21), TROY(‘21), SU(‘21), EMU(‘21), UMASS(‘21)
Malik Willis is from Atlanta, Georgia, where he attended Westlake High School and graduated from Roswell High School in the 2017 class. Also a baseball player and a receiver on the gridiron, 247 Sports ranked Willis as a 3-star recruit, the 21st ranked athlete, and 32nd player in Georgia.
Willis Committed to Auburn University on December 30th, 2016. Willis played in 7 games and completed six passes for 45 yards and a passing touchdown as a true freshman. He also flashed his talent as a rusher, earning 221 yards on 16 attempts, with a 67 yard TD run.
In 2018, Willis played in 5 games and had 24 passing yards, 88 rushing yards, and a rushing touchdown. He decided to transfer to Liberty University and sat out the 2019 season.
As the Starter for the Flames, Willis played in 10 of 11 games and amassed 2,250 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, and six interceptions. Willis also rushed for 944 yards and 14 more rushing touchdowns.
His performance earned him the national spotlight, with spots on the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award watch list and CFPA National Performer of the Year Award Watch list.
For the 2021 season, Willis passed for 2,857 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He also added 878 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.
Willis declared for the 2022 NFL Draft following a 289 yard 5 touchdown MVP performance in the Lending Tree bowl.
- Explosive athlete
- Makes tacklers whiff routinely in space
- Flashes HR hitting speed
- Exceptional arm strength and velocity
- Routine hash-to-far-sideline throws on film
- Attacks every level of the field
- Touch throws on boundary flashes in film
- Off-platform throws and arm angles of a baseball short-stop
- Very little drop off in passing on the move
- Pocket awareness/navigation
- Bails on pocket instead of stepping up often
- Anticipatory throws are few and far between in film
- Decision making
For a good reason, Malik Willis is one of the top 5 quarterbacks in his class. He offers a true dual-threat playstyle and is a Home-run threat via ground or air.
Many scouts will question his ability to go through progressions, but there are examples of Willis’ head scanning both sides of the field on the same play, though it is not consistent.
At times, he faced a ton of pressure and QB spies, limiting how thorough Willis could be while going through reads and potential escape lanes.
Willis will often bail on the play if he doesn’t like the look, which isn’t always a negative. However, he does miss opportunities to step up in the pocket, which would gain him more yardage in the air and on the ground.
Although he is a talented off-platform thrower, he would benefit from a consistent base, lending to more consistency.
Willis possesses the talent and skills to lead a franchise for years, but he will likely need to sit and ease into his starting role. A franchise that takes him will need to bet on their staff’s development acumen to reel in Willis’ aggressive playstyle and natural abilities.