The Cleveland Browns should explore all quarterback options this offseason, one of which could be drafting Malik Willis.
Regardless of how you feel about the current quarterback situation of the Cleveland Browns, there is certainly going to be speculation one way or another from now until the start of the 2022 season. General manager Andrew Berry will presumably be evaluating all options at the position and drafting a quarterback is not out of the realm of possibility.
The question would then be who the quarterback would be and in what round. The answer could be Malik Willis out of Liberty University, but when in the draft could become tricky.
It is not likely that the team who drafts Willis will expect him to be a day-one starter, so when he does get drafted will be interesting. According to James Dator of SB Nation, “at least one team will fall in love with Willis.” Dator also says that he mocked Willis in the top-10 of the draft earlier this year.
I don’t foresee the Browns selecting Willis at No. 13 should he still be there, but I could see the Browns trading away their first-round pick to move down and potentially take Willis later in the first or early in the second round.
Now, before you get too bent out of shape, no, I didn’t forget about one Baker Mayfield.
Barring an offseason trade, which is more likely than a lot of Browns fans are speculating, Mayfield will be under center to start the 2022 season. He will spend the next several months rehabbing his recently-repaired left shoulder. He will have a lot to prove after a disastrous 2021 season, but if the Browns do draft Willis, it could turn into a situation we saw in Baltimore with Lamar Jackson replacing Joe Flacco.
Back to Willis.
This is one of the most athletic quarterbacks in this year’s draft and can beat you with his arm or with his legs. Don’t worry about his near height of 6-foot-1, as the dude can flat out ball. Over the last two seasons for Liberty, after transferring from Auburn, Willis has put great numbers.
In those two seasons, he threw for 5,107 yards, 47 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions, while completing 62.4 percent of his passes. On the ground, Willis rushed for 1,822 yards and 27 touchdowns.
How Malik Willis would benefit Cleveland Browns
Willis can make the highlight real by launching the ball downfield or escaping the pocket and using his legs to torch a defense. He is not an easy player to bring down in the open field as he is 220 pounds. In today’s NFL, you need quarterbacks who can escape pressure and make a play down the field either by throwing or running the football. He has amazing speed which is another part that makes him dangerous in the open field.
While Mayfield has a strong arm, he doesn’t escape the pocket the best nor does he extend a lot of plays with his legs. He could potentially mentor Willis for a year, possibly two depending on the results of the upcoming season. Clearly, he will not want that to be the case, but it could turn into a reality.
For as good as Willis is as a dual-threat quarterback, he like everyone before and after him will have some sort of flaws. Oliver Hodgkinson of Pro Football Network thinks Willis needs to improve on making the easy pass instead of trying to fire the ball where there isn’t necessarily a lane. He also says Willis at times will abandon a clean pocket. Haven’t we seen that somewhere before? Never mind.
Malik Willis would be the ultimate wild card to this Browns offseason and potentially the offense. He is a quarterback capable of making huge plays in a multitude of ways, but would also likely need to sit for a year. I’m not saying the Browns will draft him, but I strongly feel they should at least have him on their radar.
Should Andrew Berry decide to draft Willis, then you better trust in him than if you trust in him now.