I’ve seen talking heads spouting off about upwards of five to as few as one quarterback being selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. So where does that leave Malik Willis with draft day fastly approaching? Well, the kids got all the tools that NFL front offices are undoubtedly drooling over. His ability to both run and pass the football is second to nobody in this draft class. However, he also gives off a number of warning signs that could signal he just might not be ready to step into the huddle and lead an NFL-level offense as early as Week 1. So will it make better sense for him to land on a team that already has an incumbent penciled in for the start of the season, or would he be best served jumping into the NFL waters head first to see what happens? Evidently, that’s for NFL teams to know and NFL bettors to break the odds down at FanDuel Sportsbook to see which scenario can help add to the bottom line. I truly believe the first round will see a number of trades that finds some big names moving to new destinations. As such, certain QB needy teams would likely trade up to get their guy. Both of my suggestions as to which teams could possibly draft Willis are heavily dependent upon that scenario playing out.
Malik Willis Odds at FanDuel Sportsbook
Detroit/New Orleans +500
Houston/Washington/NY Giants/Philadelphia +2000
Favorite to Bet: Pittsburgh Steelers +350
I get that the Steelers are psyched about the signing of Mitch Trubisky in the offseason. That being said, the former Chicago Bears quarterback only received a two-year deal. Upper management more or less took a wait and see approach with the maligned former No. 2 draft pick from year’s past. While Mitch has a cannon for an arm and the legs to be a dual-threat quarterback, he leaves a bit to be desired between the ears when the games on the line. Whether the pressure gets to him or not, the kid just loves to throw interceptions at the most inopportune of times. Maybe a season in Buffalo helped bolster his confidence. Maybe not. Either way, Willis has been forecasted to go to the Steel City ever since announcing he was entering the NFL Draft. He’s by far the most impressive athlete of the QB crop, and would likely be looked upon as a steal should Mike Tomlin and his staff be able to mold him into the lethal weapon many NFL Draft pundits forecast for the former Liberty Flame. That being said, I could also see Carolina trading down to swipe him earlier with it not a secret that the Panthers front office badly wants to inject some new, fresh QB talent into its roster. Should Willis not be selected early on and Carolina trade down, Pittsburgh would likely need to trade up to attain his services.
Longshot to Bet: Tennessee Titans +2500
Truth be told, I can see the Titz trading up to snag either Willis or Kenny Pickett. News has recently surfaced out of Tennessee that upper management would have no problem moving Ryan Tannehill if it meant that it would be able to secure what is considered one of the two best quarterbacks of this draft class. I personally don’t think they’d have an issue with either should the scenario present itself. It’s highly likely neither is going to remain on the board once the 26th pick comes around, so GM Jon Robinson and HC Mike Vrabel will have to be creative if in fact they’re truly targeting a quarterback in the first round. Most mock drafts I’ve seen have seen the Titans looking to improve the offensive line, but others have seen them expressing interest with Ole Miss’s Matt Corral. Sorry, but that looks to be a reach in my book. Corral has some nice tools, but the kid is simply too small for my tastes to be a QB1 at the NFL level. He needs a couple seasons worth of bulking up before I’d march him out there for my team. If in fact Tennessee makes a trade that sends Tannehill packing, it’s highly likely they’ll target a top end quarterback prospect with the depth chart currently comprised of backups Logan Woodside and Kevin Hogan. Keep your ear to the ground. If the rumblings continue, you might want to take fliers on both Willis and/or Pickett to go to Tennessee at 25-1!