The 2022 NFL Draft isn’t expected to be the quarterback-heavy spectacle that we’ve seen in some recent years. One exciting signal caller is rising fast up the board of ESPN’s Todd McShay.
On Wednesday, McShay unveiled his new top five for the 2022 class. Quarterbacks were nowhere to be found, with Kayvon Thibodeaux of Oregon leading the defense-heavy group.
McShay doesn’t wait too long to get to his first signal caller, and it’s an interesting one: Malik Willis of Liberty. The dual-threat QB has been putting up fantastic numbers in Hugh Freeze’s offense over the last few years, and now he sits at No. 6 on McShay’s big board.
“Willis is terrific at extending plays and keeping his eyes downfield outside the pocket,” McShay wrote of the Auburn transfer. “His off-platform throws have plenty of “wow” factor, as he gets the ball out from various release points with velocity and hits tight windows.”
.@McShay13 thinks Malik Willis out of Liberty > Jalen Hurts as QB1 for the Eagles 👀
"If they're in position to get Malik Willis, who has emerged as the No. 1 clear-cut QB in this year's class … I think they have to make that pick." pic.twitter.com/eUYL9Uoia6
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) October 27, 2021
McShay discussed Willis on Get Up Wednesday, and went so far as to say that that the Philadelphia Eagles would “have to make that pick” if given the opportunity to take him in the 2022 NFL Draft. He sees Willis as an upgrade over Jalen Hurts.
“Jalen Hurts…he’s played within the system. I wouldn’t say he’s the biggest reason why the Eagles are struggling, but I don’t think he’s the answer moving forward if you’re trying to build a championship roster and make a run at the Super Bowl,” McShay said.
“If they’re in position to get Malik Willis, who has emerged as the No. 1 clear-cut QB in this year’s class coming out of Liberty, I think they have to make that pick… I think he creates more, he’s more dynamic throwing the ball on the run and throwing the ball down the field than Hurts has been in his first couple of years with the Eagles.”
Of course, the Eagles are still involved in the various trade rumors surrounding Deshaun Watson, though his status moving forward remains a mystery. And while Willis has separated himself for McShay, there is no consensus around quarterbacks in this class. Mel Kiper Jr. has Pitt’s Kenny Pickett as his top quarterback.
On the year, Willis is 121-for-183 for 1,679 yards, 17 touchdowns, and six interceptions with his arm, adding 647 yards and nine scores on the ground. He threw for 2,260 yards and ran for 944 last year, scoring 34 total touchdowns.