MMQB: Malik Willis the 'Leader in the Clubhouse' To Be 1st QB Taken in 2022 NFL Draft

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 4, 2022

Liberty quarterback Malik Willis runs through passing drills during Liberty Football Pro Day in Lynchburg, Va., on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Kendall Warner)
AP Photo/Kendall Warner

There isn't much consensus about the top quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL draft, but one prospect could be separating himself from the field.

"If there's a leader in the clubhouse to be the first quarterback taken, right now, I'd say it's Liberty's Malik Willis," Albert Breer of MMQB reported.

Breer noted Willis has the highest ceiling in the class, and the quarterback has used team meetings to quiet concerns about his limited schemes at Liberty.

Willis is certainly an exciting quarterback as a dual-threat weapon with a strong arm. He finished last season with 2,857 yards and 27 touchdowns through the air to go with 878 yards and 13 scores on the ground.

His pure arm talent was on display at his pro day:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

Unbelievable throw. Great celebration. <a href="https://twitter.com/malikwillis?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@malikwillis</a> is doing it all. <br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/LibertyFootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LibertyFootball</a> Pro Day on NFL Network <a href="https://t.co/9M30Nw39Te">pic.twitter.com/9M30Nw39Te</a>

After spending the past two years at Liberty, he'll still face a huge jump in the NFL both in terms of competition and scheme difficulty.

Willis also struggled with his decision-making at times. He finished last season with 12 interceptions, while his Total QBR was just 36th in Division I.

Teams seeking a safer option at the position might prefer Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder or Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett.

On the other hand, a high ceiling could be more important than a high floor at quarterback. Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen were both raw entering the draft, but a patient approach allowed each to thrive after a quiet rookie season.

A team looking for its next superstar at quarterback could take a chance on Willis early in the first round. Bleacher Report's Scouting Department projected the Detroit Lions would take Willis at No. 2 overall in the latest mock draft.