Getty Malik Willis during a Liberty game in the 2021 season.
The clock is ticking with the 2022 NFL draft just days away from kicking off, and the Detroit Lions have apparently been at work for the past few months when it comes to their pick.
While the Lions have had time to reflect on a lot of things, that hasn’t stopped them from going back and considering multiple different moves before the draft. One decision continues to be mentioned as a possibility, and that is the possible addition of quarterback Malik Willis to the team.
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Willis is one of the most polarizing players in the entire class, with many believing he is worthy or justified of a top pick, while other people don’t think he should be in the mix with a top pick. However, the Lions appear to be watching Willis closely as he spends time on his own pick, and a new update shows that this is just more of the case.
According to an update from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler over the weekend, the Lions continue to consider Willis with the second overall pick and were arranging a final visit with him just before the draft. It’s an intriguing wrinkle to remember with just over a week to go, especially as Fowler admits the team is still wide open as to who they might pick.
“I have asked around and they have told me that they are still finding out. They haven’t solidified what they’re doing there. They are looking for between six and eight different players. I think Malik Willis is not totally out of the question here. They’ve worked to get him into the building for a late pre-draft visit. At least they’ve talked about it, they’re not sure if that’s solidified as of yet. They did a lot of homework for him at the Senior Bowl. Most evaluators I talk to think it could go to two, Detroit probably feels the same way. You’ve been awfully quiet in the quarterback market. They could play it safe and run on the edge, but Wills is at least in the mix,” Fowler reported on SportsCenter.
The fact that Willis is in the mix will keep Detroit’s options open in a variety of ways. The Lions could roll the dice with the quarterback, but just the illusion that they’re intrigued could keep their prospects of a trade open, or scare a team into meeting if they love Wills. Detroit having Willis in town this week, as NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed, will only add to the potential excitement.
#Liberty QB Malik Willis continues his tour of teams in the QB market this week, the final week for Top 30 visits. Willis visits the #Lions tomorrow and the #Steelers on Wednesday, sources say. Detroit picks number 2 and Pittsburgh picks number 20.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 18, 2022
“Liberty QB Malik Willis continues his tour of teams in the QB market this week, the final week for Top 30 visits. Willis visits the Lions tomorrow and the Steelers on Wednesday, sources say. Detroit picks #2 and Pittsburgh picks #20,” Rapoport tweeted.
So far, this appears to be a masterclass in draft management from GM Brad Holmes in terms of not showing his hand at all and being open to anything.
Lions Running Diligence with the Quarterback Class
In recent months, the Lions have been visiting the professional days and the quarterbacks have visited them personally. Pitt’s Kenny Pickett is the latest example of this, with the Lions represented on his professional day while simultaneously getting him into the mix with a visit. Detroit has also taken a look at many of the other quarterbacks during the draft process, with names like Desmond Ridder, Sam Howell and Matt Corral also in the crosshairs of the team and its decision makers. The fact that Detroit gets a chance to see multiple players in the Senior Bowl will help them make a more confident decision at the end when all is said and done, and if the team chooses to pass a quarterback and choose to wait in the position until 2023, it will be no shortage of information.
Willis still being in the mix for the Lions is an intriguing story for the team. Clearly, the Lions want to make sure they make the right call with quarterbacks on a variety of fronts, and the team will make the best move possible to make sure they make the right call when all is said and done.
Willis’s College Statistics and Highlights
Willis is likely to remain one of the most intriguing prospects through the next draft class until such time as he’s selected by any team, and he already has some intriguing numbers to show off heading into that period. Before his final year on the field, Willis amassed 2,319 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. He also has 1,253 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns under his belt. Here are some highlights:
PlayMalik Willis | 2020 HighlightsMusic Outro: Eminem – Lose Yourself Second Channel: youtube.com/channel/UC8n8qjtOWK1j3tFiZAeeZ4Q Instagram: instagram.com/justin_stewart_5/ Twitter: twitter.com/j_stew55 ————————————————— ——————————————————- *I do not own any of the images or audio in this, it belongs to the NCAA and the copyright owner of the song. I make the videos for entertainment purposes only* #NCAA #MalikWillis #CollegeFootball #NFLDraft2021-05-03T17:00:26Z
So far this year, Willis hasn’t been far behind in numbers either, posting 27 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions for 2,857 yards in the 2021 season. combined process and evaluation.
Willis at least remains a player in the Lions’ mix as the final stretch of the draft process begins. Whether or not that leads to the team taking it remains to be seen, but
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Top quarterback prospect remains ‘in the mix’ for Lions’ first pick – Home