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Brad Holmes Dan Campbell

Getty Brad Holmes and Dan Campbell walk on the field during Lions training camp in 2021.

When the Detroit Lions decide what to do in the NFL draft, they will reveal it to the masses in just over a week’s time. Until then, it’s likely the rumor mill is going to continue to churn in multiple different directions.

With the Lions rumored to be in the mix for defensive linemen, safeties, cornerbacks and even a quarterback, it’s clear the team is wide open and multiple different things could happen. One of the hottest ideas over the last few months has been that the Lions would take Liberty quarterback Malik Willis. But how viable would that pick be?

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While fans and the team may seem split right now, it doesn’t come as a surprise that some league insider sources have a bit better idea of what they believe. Recently, Pro Football Focus and Doug Kyed attempted to take a look before the draft at analyzing the viability of Willis to the Lions. In looking at the positives and negatives, Kyed also presented the thoughts of some sources as it relates to whether Willis would be justifiable for Detroit with their first selection.

The conclusion? A majority of the folks Kyed talked to aren’t completely sure Willis is worth Detroit making him the second-overall selection in 2022.

“Two sources expressed hesitancy that Willis is worth the second overall pick, with one believing he’d be a “reach” at No. 2 overall. A third source believes Willis is talented enough to justify the pick. “I don’t think he is, and I really love Malik,” a fourth source added,” Kyed wrote according to his piece.

Adding it up, that’s a 3-1 score in terms of four total sources from PFF and Kyed as it relates to Willis perhaps not being worth the selection early for Detroit. To that end, it’s becoming clear that some folks on the inside of the NFL community aren’t sure that Willis would be the best move the team could make with their high draft pick.

Soon enough, we’ll see what the Lions themselves believe.


Lions Hosted Willis in Late Pre-Draft Visit

No matter what happens, nobody can accuse the Lions of not doing their diligence on the quarterback class as a whole as well as Willis. Not only did the team get Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett into the mix with a late facility visit pre-draft, but they hosted Willis as well. Those players coming into the fold will no doubt begin to fan some of the flames for folks looking to believe the Lions will be selecting a quarterback early in the draft come next week.

In addition to getting Willis in for his late visit, the Lions also coached him during Senior Bowl week, and got a closer look at his pro day as well. Add it all up and it seems as if the team has done all the homework needed to make a confident decision when the time comes on Willis. They’ve coached him, met with him and watched him perform up close in a variety of fronts. With this in mind, whatever decision the team makes in the end should largely be seen as well-researched.


Willis’s College Stats & Highlights

Willis will likely be one of the most interesting prospects during the upcoming draft class right up until the moment he is picked, and he already has some intriguing numbers to boast heading into that period. Ahead of his senior year on the field, Willis has put up 2,319 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. He also has 1,253 rushing yards and 16 scores on the ground to his credit. Here’s some highlights:


Malik 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 footage 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

Thus far this year, Willis has been no slouch with the numbers either, putting up 27 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions with 2,857 yards passing through the 2021 season. He has taken on the look of an intriguing, toolsy quarterback and that remained through the combine and evaluation process. It seems his intrigue within the NFL community has only grown.

In spite of that, it’s clear that many folks on the inside that Kyed spoke to believe it would be risky for the Lions to take the plunge.

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Source: Heavy

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