The Detroit Lions have some big decisions to make in the weeks ahead, and will be looking to figure some things out on the prospect evaluation front this weekend during the Senior Bowl.
Ahead of the Senior Bowl, there’s been a few more mock drafts that have surfaced which attempt to answer what the Lions might do. Pro Football Focus took a look at this, and analyst Sam Monson revealed a brand new mock draft which had some interesting moves for Detroit.
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With the second pick, Monson had the Lions selecting Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson over Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, and as Monson said, he is likely the best player in the draft and Detroit would be thrilled if he were on the board with the second-overall pick thanks to his pass rush traits he shares with some elite edge rushers.
Where the intrigue of this mock begins is with pick 32. The Lions are projected to have the final first round selection, and are projected to go with Liberty quarterback Malik Willis. As Monson said, the Lions don’t have to draft a quarterback, but they can gamble with a guy in Willis who has some solid upside for the future and perhaps the best tape of any quarterback in the class.
Willis will be a player that the Lions will be watching closely in the pre-draft process. If he does become a pick for the team, that would be interesting for the future.
Lions Will Coach Willis During Senior Bowl
The Senior Bowl revealed back on Thursday, January 13 that the Lions would be coaching Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, UNC quarterback Sam Howell and Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe.
In addition to Willis, Howell and Zappe, the Lions will get a chance to look at the quarterbacks on the other side, which include Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder and Carson Strong. All of those players have been seen as important figures in the class this year, especially Pickett and Ridder as two potential first-round picks. With a solid week, both could lock that status up.
Perhaps the most intriguing quarterback of this group is Willis given his skills. Many see him as a talented player who needs a bit of growth and coaching in order to mature into an NFL quarterback. Whether he is a first-round selection or not remains to be seen, but clearly, some believe that is the case already.
Willis’s Stats & Highlights
Willis will likely be one of the most intriguing prospects during the upcoming draft class, 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:
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. Is he a toolsy quarterback that could become the next Josh Allen?
The Lions will find out up close very soon, but many believe they will be enticed enough to take the plunge with a selection.