Liberty University quarterback Malik Willis was projected by many to be selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. So when he was still on the board in the third round, the Tennessee Titans traded up four spots to select him 86th overall.
The Titans still have Ryan Tannehill as their starting quarterback, but Willis gives them another potential option for this year and beyond.
Brian Baldinger raved about Willis on Audacy’s “Baldy’s Breakdowns” podcast with co-host Jason La Canfora.
“Watching Malik Willis start the other night, he’s so exciting it’s ridiculous,” Baldinger said (16:40 in player above). You saw him against the Ravers. I mean it looked like the next coming of Lamar. If it was flag football they couldn’t rip the flag off him. The arm is great. The ball just jumps out of his hand. He made one throw to Racey McMath – I mean what kind of receiver’s name is that, Racey McMath – 48 yards on a dime.”
He missed some throws and held the ball too long at times, as the guys mentioned, but “the talent is undeniable,” said Baldinger.
Willis went 6-for-11 for 107 yards through the air, but he was sacked twice. However, his real weapon is his legs. He ran for 38 yards on five carries, including a seven-yard touchdown run.
Not only does Willis have the talent, but he’s incredibly likable as well.
“You can tell, even on that scramble for a touchdown, sometimes you just tell how the players like you. They couldn’t wait to get in the end zone and celebrate with him,” Baldinger said.
So, could Willis see some playing time during the regular season? Baldinger certainly thinks so.
“I just think, and I said this when they drafted him, they would be foolish not to have a package Week 1 for him. And I’m not saying just go run the ball, either. I’m saying just to change it up. Read-option throws. RPOs. I think there’s just a place to get him on the field and I don’t think Tannehill should take that as a direct challenge,” he said.
“I just think the guy’s so dynamic and so talented and such a fun guy to be around. I think he would give this team a lift and it wouldn’t just be King Henry and play-action passes and that kind of stuff. I think he could give them a different dimension.”