Every draft, there is usually a prospect that polarizes the entire scouting community. Its sometimes rooted in something deeper than the film, and you’ve all followed me long enough to know my feelings on that. However, on physical gifts alone, Malik Willis is the best quarterback in this class. In an era that saw physical skills jump Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen into the top 8 of his respective draft class, a class heralded for its signal callers, and Green Bay Packers QB Jordan Love into the first round? That should be enough to see Malik Willis be the first quarterback taken.  

You want to talk about arm strength? Malik Willis has it in spades. In Liberty’s matchup versus Old Dominion, Willis put the ball on a dime into a Cover-2 zone and beat the secondary strictly off arm strength. Whether it’s a slant or an out, there is no lack of zip on his throws. The arm is just as strong on the run as it is when he is stationary in the pocket, and it is present when he goes off-platform. He’s as dangerous a thrower as he is a runner. 

Speaking of Willis as a runner, he has no equal in this class. Its not Lamar Jackson-like, but its dangerously close. He’s more of a twitchy runner than Jackson was, with Lamar appearing more in control of his speed, but Willis is a dangerous player with the ball in his hands. He uses his athleticism to evade pass rushers and to extend plays, which then allow him to use that cannon to take shots downfield. He, also, uses his athleticism to manipulate the pocket: this comes in handy, considering Liberty’s OL isn’t the greatest, but he does run himself into sacks sometimes as he tries to evade pressure. Still, it doesn’t happen enough for me to think it’ll be a detriment to his development.  

The arm strength and mobility would be pointless if his release wasn’t as strong as it is. Its quick and he can use different arm angles to get the ball to his playmakers. The fact that he’s able to utilize different arm angles even with pressure in his face is exciting. It’s something Patrick Mahomes has made a living doing, and something Jets QB Zach Wilson showed a bit of at BYU. Willis isn’t as good as they are at it, but the skill set is there.  

With the Lions most likely picking at the top of the draft, and QB Jared Goff in place, I love them as a landing spot for Willis. He can sit behind Goff, and be coached up by Anthony Lynn, and really be ready to take over next year. The Lions have a good OL, and the draft capital to add talent that can grow with the young signal caller. It would be a pretty good landing spot for him because they wouldn’t have to rush his development, which is what he needs to really reach his potential: time. He’s QB1 in my book, and will be the best QB from this class for years to come.