NFL draft season is about kick into full gear with the NFL combine beginning on Tuesday, March 1. The Denver Broncos have already expressed some interest in three quarterback prospects.
According to the Mike Klis of 9news, the Broncos scheduled formal interviews on Monday night with Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, Liberty’s Malik Wallis, and Ole Miss’s Matt Corral.
This marks the Broncos’ second meeting with both Pickett and Willis. The organization previously met with both players at the Senior Bowl.
Corral is a new name to watch. Corral was not at this year’s Senior Bowl.
This Year’s QB Class Lacks a Clear Consensus
The Broncos should be doing their due diligence on all the top quarterback prospects in this year’s draft. Pickett, Willis, Corral, Sam Howell, and Desmond Ridder are all in the first-round conversation, but there is no consensus ranking.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper has Pickett as the top quarterback on his big board, but he did mention the variance of big boards among teams around the league.
I was hoping one of the quarterbacks would emerge at the Senior Bowl as the clear-cut No. 1 in this class, but that didn’t happen. It’s still very close at the top, and teams are going to differ atop their boards.
Meanwhile, Bleacher Report has Ridder as the top quarterback on their big board, and Pro Football Focus ranked Howell as their top quarterback.
Matt Corral and Malik Wallis Are High Upside Options
Kenny Pickett is viewed by many experts as the “safest” quarterback on the board, but Matt Corral and Malik Willis offer more upside.
Corral has great athleticism and mobility. PFF referred to him as “an athlete who happens to play quarterback”. Last season, he rushed for 614 yards and 11 eleven touchdowns.
For a quarterback, Corral is a physical runner. On this run, he is able to break a tackle and extend the play.
In addition, Corral has flashed exceptional arm strength:
Health will be a big factor for Corral. He is currently recovering from an ankle injury that he suffered in the Sugar Bowl. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Corral will not throw at the combine, as he continues to recover from his injury.
Corral’s size is also a concern, considering the level of physicality he plays with. At 205 pounds, he is lighter than other quarterbacks on the board.
Speaking of mobility, Willis rushed for 878 yards last season, which was the second-most among quarterbacks in the FBS. In addition, Willis’s 13 rushing touchdowns were tied for the third-most among quarterbacks.
Like Corral, Willis also has great arm strength.
Overall, Willis may have the best physical tools of any quarterback on the board.
Decision-making and level of competition are the biggest concerns surrounding Willis. Willis threw for a career-high 27 touchdowns last season, but he also threw a career-high 12 interceptions.
In addition, Willis did not play the most grueling schedule at Liberty. Last season, his lone ranked opponent was #16 Ole Miss, and Willis had his worst performance of the season recording 173 passing yards, zero passing touchdowns, and three interceptions. He was not very efficient as a runner, either, gaining 71 yards on 27 carries.
Any franchise that selects Willis is banking on his raw talent.