With the 86th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans selected quarterback Malik Willis out of Liberty. There were some expectations heading into the draft that Willis could be a first-round pick, but he ended up sliding into the third round. Kenny Pickett out of Pittsburgh was the only quarterback taken in the first round, as he was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and no signal caller was picked in the second.
The Titans were a good landing spot for Willis, as he will have some time to develop and hone his skills as a backup. He is arguably the most physically gifted and talented quarterback in this year’s draft class but is a pretty raw prospect. Playing in the FBS with Liberty, playing in the NFL is a big step up.
The potential is there for Willis to become a difference-maker at the next level. He has true dual-threat abilities with his speed and athleticism and big arm. He could very well be the heir apparent to Ryan Tannehill, who fell apart in Tennessee’s playoff game last season against the Cincinnati Bengals.
There are a lot of people that believe Willis does have what it takes to be a starter in the NFL. One of those players is Dallas Cowboys linebacker, Micah Parsons. He responded to a tweet from the league saying Malik Willis has arrived saying that he is a special player.
Willis was solid in his preseason debut as the Titans took on the Baltimore Ravens. While they lost the game 23-10, there were a lot of positives to take away from Willis’ debut as a professional.
He led the team on two scoring drives in the first half, rushing for a touchdown to cap off one drive and leading the team to a field goal from Randy Bullock. Willis finished the game completing 6-of-11 passes for 107 yards, absorbing two sacks. He ran the ball five times for 38 yards and one score.
The backup quarterback spot looks like it is Willis’ to lose as he outplayed Lucas Woodside, who threw two interceptions in relief of him. If he continues playing at this level, Tennessee will have plenty of confidence if they have to insert him into the game during the regular season.