Coming out of Liberty in the 2022 NFL Draft, many felt Malik Willis had the traits to be a successful NFL quarterback. Among the quarterbacks in the 2022 Draft, however, Willis was among the most polarizing names. Many analysts viewed him as having the highest ceiling in the class. Many also mentioned he would be a project, as he adjusted to the learning curve from playing at a smaller FBS school to the NFL, while also working on his overall skillset and weaker areas of his game.
So, what will it take for Willis to become a successful NFL quarterback, as he begins his career with the Tennessee Titans? Analyst and Executive Producer of ESPN’s NFL Matchup Greg Cosell offers some scouting of Willis in a conversation he and former NFL General Manager Mike Tannenbaum had with longtime NFL coach Brian Schottenheimer, who helps them break down for The 33rd Team what steps he believes teams should take to develop Willis into a successful NFL quarterback.
Together, the three go over Willis’ biggest selling points: his arm strength and athleticism. They also compare Willis and his development to other QB prospects from Schottenheimer’s career as an NFL offensive coach. Looking at names such as Trevor Lawrence and Phillip Rivers, they discuss different ways Willis could be brought into a team’s system and gain experience in the NFL, as well as how teams can work in different concepts and provide support to Willis early in his career, to play to his strengths and help him find success in his first few games as well as in specific situations, such as third downs.
Specific to Willis’ situation in Tennessee, where the Titans have veteran Ryan Tannehill as their starting QB, they also bring up how Willis can learn behind a veteran at the position, and succeed with more limited reps.