The quarterback class of 2022 is far from the level of recent years. Malik Willis, according to many people, stands out in terms of talent, but is this really the case? Below you can read more about Willis, but also about another QB likely to go in the first round: Kenny Pickett.
Who else can we kick off this QB class with but Malik Willis. According to many, the only QB worthy of a 1st round pick this year and has the upside to be a franchise QB. Anyone who has seen Willis at Liberty for the past two years will understand why. Willis is a scary copy of Josh Allen, who also didn’t play QB at a very big university (Wyoming). Willis is just as athletic and mobile as Allen (perhaps a little more), has the same build and height as Allen, and also has the same arm talent that Allen has. He has the ideal profile of a modern NFL QB thanks to his mobility and his arm.
However, there are some big and important questions about Willis. The talent, the tools and his skillset are there, the execution just needs to be a lot better. Willis is sometimes too much of a statue in the pocket, especially for someone as mobile as he is. His pocket mobility could be better, but making the right decision is also something Willis has to take big steps in. Last year, Willis suddenly had 12 interceptions, compared to six the year before. In that respect he is a bit like Jordan Love from a few years ago. In addition, Willis goes too often and too willingly out of the pocket.
Then on to this year’s other potential first round QB: Kenny Pickett. Pickett is an accomplished QB (played 5 years with Pittsburgh) who is considered the most starter-ready QB in this draft. Pickett actually already has everything Willis has yet to learn, mostly thanks to his experience. Pickett makes good decisions (throws ball when necessary, but 7 interceptions) and can extend plays to free receivers. He is also very accurate in terms of ball placement (67% completion percentage) for a college QB. In addition, Pickett also has the perfect length and is also mobile. Add that to the fact that he can throw every pass, he is a leader to his team and is not afraid to get his shirt dirty every game and you have a pretty complete and experienced QB.
Yet there are also doubts with Pickett. The upside on Pickett is a bit bigger than Mac Jones last year (thanks to his playing style and skillset), and he’s been compared to the status Justin Herbert had in the draft a few years ago. Still, Pickett is already 24 when he starts his first season in the NFL. So the question is how much is in the tank. In addition, he has only performed at elite level in 2021, not always in the years before that.
It feels like both quarterbacks are gambles, which you do not want when selecting a car insurance, verzekering auto in Dutch. If you are looking for a franchise QB, both Willis and Pickett might not be right options. Matt Corral, Desmond Ridder, Sam Howell, and Carson Strong might be better, but there also are doubts about these young quarterbacks. In other words, this year QB Class is not very good…