Detroit Lions Big Board Tier 3: The Wildcard
6. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Whenever you pick in the top five, a quarterback must be considered heavily, and Malik Willis is the best of the bunch. Willis has an enticing upside with excellent mobility, arm strength, and a beautiful deep ball. Working with the Detroit Lions at the Senior Bowl, he picked up the playbook quickly and showed the leadership abilities scouts have raced about.
Coming out of Liberty, Willis comes with a fair amount of questions. Liberty ran an RPO-heavy system that did not have Willis make NFL-caliber reads and had him run quite often. Also, against higher competition, Willis and Liberty struggled mighty like against Ole Miss, where Willis threw three interceptions in a 27-14 loss.
The question is how much of that game fell on Willis and how much Willis was trying to overcome a weaker supporting cast. The Lions and other teams will have to answer these questions to determine if he is more Josh Allen or more Daniel Jones.
If the Lions do think that Willis will be a high-end NFL starter, it does not matter who is on the board; he has to be the pick at second overall. If they are unsure, the Lions would be better off taking one of the top defenders and waiting to find their quarterback of the future.