Malik Willis is the game-changing QB the Minnesota Vikings need

Malik Willis - Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Malik Willis - Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Vikings
Malik Willis – Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports /

It might take Malik Willis a year or two to be ready

The scariest part of going all-in on a quarterback is the risk of him not panning out. There are always busts at the quarterback position and teams never seem to shake that disappointment until they hit a franchise cornerstone.

Patrick Mahomes did not start as a rookie but that did not stop him from being a superstar at such a young age. The same is true for Lamar Jackson, though he did take over the starting job at the end of his rookie season. Josh Allen struggled mightily in his first season with Buffalo but he made steady improvements as a pass and is now one of the best in the league.

Willis is going to take his lumps as a passer in the NFL. Interceptions are a big concern with his game right now but we have seen quarterbacks improve their accuracy in the early stages of their careers. If Willis does the same, he will be an MVP-level player in just a few years.

His throws tend to sail a bit and he has had some incredibly unfortunate misses on deep shots. There are a handful of inexcusable overthrows on deep routes in which the receiver would have had a walk-in touchdown.

Part of the reason for his inaccuracy as a passer is his disregard for setting his feet in the pocket. Willis loves to bail out of clean pockets because he knows his legs are so impressive. While that is a luxury, it can also be a curse. He needs to do a better job of trusting his arm and base because those are the things that can truly make him special.

Malik Willis needs to clean up his pocket presence and footwork within the pocket. Once those are fixed, he will be a dangerous signal-caller in the NFL for a long time. In the meantime, he can rely on his athletic ability to make plays to keep him afloat as a starting quarterback and develop the rest of his game.

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The Minnesota Vikings would be a team to keep an eye on for Willis in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. If he falls out of the first round for some reason, they should be busy on the phones to come up and select him at the top of the second round to sit behind Kirk Cousins for a season.