NFL Rumors: Malik Willis to Lions at 2 'Would Be a Massive Shock at This Point'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 25, 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

The Detroit Lions are reportedly unlikely to target quarterback Malik Willis with the No. 2 pick, according to ESPN's Todd McShay.

"That would be a massive shock at this point," McShay reported.

Bleacher Report's Scouting Department was among those projecting Willis as the No. 2 overall pick in early April, filling the team's need for a long-term answer at quarterback.

The Liberty product visited the Lions earlier this month, while ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported Willis was "in the mix" for Detroit with the second pick.

The coaching staff also got an up-close look at Willis during the Senior Bowl.

Despite the connections, the Lions are reportedly unlikely to target any quarterback at No. 2 and will instead choose between pass-rushers Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker and Kayvon Thibodeaux, per McShay. Cornerback Ahmad Gardner also is considered a "possibility" for the No. 2 pick.

The Lions also have the No. 32 and No. 34 picks in the draft, but McShay argued the only quarterback they would target at those spots is Kenny Pickett, who might not be available.

It leaves plenty of question marks surrounding Willis, who is one of the more divisive players in the class.

The dual-threat player finished last season with 2,857 passing yards and 27 touchdowns to go with 878 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Many see tons of upside for an athletic quarterback with a big arm who has only two years as a starter.

There are still concerns his success came against lower competition, and his decision-making leaves much to be desired after throwing 12 interceptions in 2021. The raw prospect likely needs more development before he is able to contribute in the NFL.

Despite the initial thought he could go second overall, it could be some time before Willis hears his name called in the draft.