Feb 1, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA; American quarterback Malik Willis of Liberty (7) throws during American practice for the 2022 Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

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Liberty’s Malik Willis feels he’s best of QB draft crop

Malik Willis doesn’t lack for confidence and feels he should be the first quarterback selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.

“I don’t make those decisions,” Willis told reporters on Wednesday morning at the NFL combine at Indianapolis.

After a pause, Willis cracked, “I hate that for me.”

Still, Willis is considered a first-round draft choice so he could indeed end up being the first one off the board.

Willis had a solid 2021 season at Liberty as he passed for 2,857 yards, 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, He also rushed for 878 yards and 13 scores. It was his second season as the starter for the Flames after transferring from Auburn.

His performance and skills have put him in position to become an NFL team’s quarterback of the future — or even the present.

Willis has dissected the possibility of that occurring soon.

“Teams always are going to let you know how big your position is,” Willis said. “I mean, you’re the face of the franchise, literally. You’re the face of the city. So, you’ve got to understand everything that comes with that and making sure you’re doing all the right things and making sure you’re doing your job.”

Willis passed for three or more touchdowns on five occasions last season and also posted rushing outputs of 157 and 144 yards in a single game.

He won’t be showing off his running ability in Indianapolis when the quarterbacks hit the field on Thursday. Willis said he will throw at the combine but won’t run or participate in other drills.

One team being mentioned as a possible landing spot for Willis is the Pittsburgh Steelers, who need a replacement for the retired Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers own the 20th pick.

The other quarterbacks pegged as first-round picks are Kenny Pickett of Pitt and Matt Corral of Ole Miss. North Carolina’s Sam Howell is a possible late first-round selection.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.


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