Draft Profile: BioMost colleges viewed Willis as a receiver, not a quarterback which hurt his stock, so despite being a big-time playmaker blessed with athleticism, he received only three stars and only three offers from Power Five schools. After agreeing to join Virginia Tech he was greeted by an opportunity to play quarterback at Auburn and so quickly switched to the Tigers.
Unfortunately for Willis, Auburn wasn't quite as advertised as he ended up sitting behind Bo Nix after being beaten out for the starting role - as a result, Willis transferred to Liberty, redshirted a year to comply with NCAA rules, quickly won the No. 1 job in 2020 and his since never looked back.
In 10 games during 2020, Willis managed 2,250 with 20 passing touchdowns and 6 interceptions and while on the surface his numbers don't sound special they hide the real story. Willis averaged an excellent 8.5 yards per attempt, and he was constantly looking far down the field to make plays. He also added a crazy total of 14 rushing touchdowns and almost 1,000 yards on the ground all while leading Liberty to a 10-1 record.
The 2021 campaign started well for Willis, putting up impressive shows in both the running and passing game. However, he has had some issues this season, his three-pick game against Middle Tennessee and Louisiana-Monroe highlighted a problem. The ball placement isn’t very consistent and he has errant throws that can be easily intercepted Some scouts aren't yet convinced he can make the transition to the drop-back passing game in the NFL.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- Very confident passer and shows good accuracy and feel when in rhythm. Showed better ball placement from the previous years and throws very catchable passes.
- Excellent arm strength - sprays the ball anywhere on the field, especially when given a pocket from which to deliver. Will step up into pocket while looking downfield, reset his feet and deliver.
- Generally accurate on intermediate and short throws; flashes anticipation and placement on intermediate outs and the ability to lead receivers on deeper throws.
- Goes through his reads quickly especially considering his lack of experience
- Willis is patient and allows routes to develop - he doesn't scramble more than necessary
- Has put up good numbers despite playing behind a truly awful offensive line - it will be fun to see what he can do with more time to throw
- Amazing quick-twitch athlete who routinely makes amazing plays avoiding pressure. Has vertical jumped 38.5 inches
- Supreme athlete - and shows impressive power and contact balance and is a patient runner with good vision to see all the field.
- A Dual-threat quarterback with athletic footwork and mobility. An instinctive runner with very good toughness - uses stiff arms and runs with good body strength.
- Possesses very good vision balance, elusiveness, and deceptive speed and power as a runner.
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Sometimes trusts his arm too much, trying to stick passes late in the play or when off-balance.
- Often goes for the big play, unwilling to take the short dump-off which leads to mistakes
- Puts too much air in some of his throws and needs to show a lower trajectory on deep throws
- Needs to improve his touch at all levels and know when to gun it and when to take something off his throws. Accuracy is solid, but not great
- Needs help with footwork - will need to develop a more regimented style in the NFL
- Too often fails to give receivers a chance to make a play after the catch. Is similar to 49er Trey Lance - in putting too much mustard on the ball. Will need to learn how to throw a more catchable ball
- Marginal height, which will prove more of a detriment in an offense that asks him to drop back from the center more often.
Scouting Report: SummaryWillis possesses the best athletic ability of any quarterback prospect in this year's class without a doubt - he is strong, has a powerful running style, is super-fast, and elusive with probably the strongest arms in the class. He however struggles with accuracy, is very raw, and currently needs a lot of development time to learn the intricacies of the pro game.
Willis if goes to a team that is willing to let him develop his elite athletic talents without rushing him into action could become a special player, although it's far from guaranteed and we regard him as the ultimate boom-bust prospect.
It's likely he will be selected in the mid to late first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Malik Willis percentiles vs other Quarterbacks (NFL Combine historically - higher value represents better perfomance)
How other scouting services rate Malik Willis (Overall Rank)
*Similarity Percentage: This percentage is calculated based on a comprehensive analysis of various factors, including height, weight, 40-yard dash times, on-field performance statistics, and overall player rating. The analysis is conducted against our database of draft prospects from 2021 to 2023. This similarity score helps in evaluating how closely a current prospect aligns with past prospects. It is important to note, however, that this score reflects similarities based on college production and attributes, and does not account for eventual success or performance in the NFL.