My Draft Surprise Pick @ 2OA

Give a listen, nothing Holmes does will surprise me.
Willis it MIGHT be, he needs to impress at senior bowl. Makes sense, Goff is it for 2022, Malik has a year to grow mentally.

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This basically means he just needs to show up.

This isn’t directed at you, rather the draftnik fodder that has become so prominent…

There are surprise athletes that impress at the Senior Bowl every year. An RB, WR, OL, DL or other players from schools where their talents weren’t really on display in a way that could be appreciated. Maybe they were against inferior talent, maybe their responsibility in the college scheme held them back, whatever. Each year there are players who impress.

Ok, so now we get to Malik Willis. Is he going to surprise anyone? Is he going to show anything we haven’t already seen? What about Herbert last year? Did he surprise or show anything new? No. He had an excellent Senior Bowl week, but why wouldn’t he have? Same with Malik. He’s going to show up and be the guy he’s been and all the draftniks are going to ooh and ahhh as though he’s been some revelation.

He is not going to budge on a single team board. Media boards? You betcha. In reality, though, for the scouts who’ve followed him since highschool, they know who/what he is.


The question I am most eager to have an answer to! How do teams have him rated? From Nagy’s take, he has all the physical tools necessary to excel, just needs refining. This kid is an athlete, strong, fast, and has a strong arm. If he excels with a proficient O-Line, yes the media will have him in conversations as a top 5.
Will teams? Do teams already have him higher than the media?
When Nagy started listing his attributes, I couldn’t help but think he’s a perfect fit for the Steelers. After watching the Chiefs and Bills, I think we saw the QB’s of the future. It would be nice to bet a bit ahead of the curve.
Again, this all falls in the lap of DC/Holmes, if they pass, I’m good with that. But Holmes values the QB position.


If they draft Willis at #2 Holmes should be fired the next day, I can’t think of a worse scenario.


Depends. He’s literally all over the place in the media. Drool-worthy prospect to some, 3rd rounder to others.

He’s not getting out of the 1st round with his skillset.

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I’m just saying, if Hutch goes 1, I could see it.

But I don’t think it’ll happen.

When there aren’t many (or any) grade A QB prospects in the draft, you see the likes of EJ Manuel and Christian Ponder go in the 1st round. I hope the Lions don’t reach for one out of desperation. The #2 overall pick is too valuable to waste on a QB with limited upside or who is a very high bust risk.


Justin Herbert won MVP of the Senior Bowl…and was drafted 6th overall.
Given there was Burrow and Tua who both had more press headlines but my question, is there any QB that has done well at the Senior Bowl that catapulted him to be a #1 or #2 pick when he wasn’t expected to be picked that high?

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Daniel Jones probably improved his stock the most but still only went 6th. And he improved his stock with Gettleman, I’m not sure anyone else would have taken him that high.

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It’s not just the media, media as of right now is higher on him then a lot people in the NFL. If you want him in detroit, you hope that is correct and he is there in the second.

Herbert played for Oregon and showed out against good competition. You don’t have nearly as much of that with Willis and that is what is to be gained at the Senior Bowl for him and anyone in the Scouting chain. Can he be taught not to rush out of pocket and have an oline good enough to protect him for more than a couple seconds? Can he throw with anticipation into tight windows with elite secondary players who close much faster than the Campbell Fighting Camels DB’s do? How fast can he pick up plays? Is he good at quick mastery and then motivating his guys and teaching them? This isn’t just an all star game, this definitely has value, especially for a guy like Willis. He absolutely can move the needle among real scouts up or down during Senior Bowl week. Will someone with a 2nd round grade on the guy go “ok top 5 pick,” no. But will someone go from not taking him in the middle of the first, to making him their pick due to Senior Bowl feedback? Absolutely.


Thought this was interesting:

Nagy provided a ton of insight and put some misconceptions about the event to bed. For example, many think these two rosters are hand picked by the general manager of each of the coaching teams. That’s not how it works. Nagy explained that the team with the worse record (in this case, the Lions) gets handed two different rosters that have already been formed and simply picks which one they want. The two teams are given the opportunity to trade players, but only one (unnamed) player was traded this year.


He will interview and he will demonstrate recall and progression ability, filling in some of their blanks. Move the needle? Probably some.

Strongly disagree. Players don’t become 1st round QB’s based on the Senior Bowl.

Moreso than others? What do you see, in terms of Brad valuing QBs a ton? Just curious, not being a jack hole, or trying to be confrontational.

Well there were certainly a lot of questions about this guy based on his level of competition, a lackluster Senior Bowl week, but a strong performance in the game. I believe he helped himself. Where the teams really had him, we’ll never know, but DJ is highly plugged in said at the time there were a lot of questions about him for many of the same reasons there are questions about Willis in this year’s draft.

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In a huge position of need moving forward,(2023 & on) will it be hard in this draft to find player who rates way high over a QB they might like a lot?
Post 2021 Draft talk:
"If there was a quarterback that was just like graded way higher over Penei we would have had to strongly consider that,” Holmes said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press . “But it unfortunately for our sakes, it wasn’t — Penei was the highest-rated guy when we took him

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Don’t know that you use the word unfortunately if you are thrilled with your current option. Maybe we’re trading down folks.

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Food for thought:


A few quotes on Willis…

“Struggled as he played up competition wise, was perfect against Southern Mississippi State, but forced unnecessary throws vs Virginia Tech. Trusted his arm too much. Then there was the game vs UL Monroe where I have no clue what the hell was going through his head.”

“Can struggle to feel an extra blitzer coming off the edge, internal clock needs some work. Fades away on throws in the face of pressure. Has to get better at diagnosing blitzes pre snap.”

LOL, maybe…JUST maybe THIS is why he gets sacked a lot and team blitz him because of it?

“However, he’s made some bad decisions and doesn’t quite look pro-ready just yet. In the second round, Atlanta could add a guy that doesn’t have to play right away and can sit behind Matt Ryan for a season or two before taking over.”

“His decision making and situational awareness need to improve if he hopes to make the jump to the NFL, learning to read coverages and know when to cut it lose or when to live another down rather than throwing the ball into harm’s way.”

“The talent with Willis is evident, but the issue’s are just as glaring and need to be addressed…”

“Malik Willis is up and down in the pocket. There are times where he senses the pressure well and escapes, but far too often he doesn’t sense it well at all and gets swallowed up.”

Does “swallowed up” mean sacked?

“The mental mistakes should drop in 2021. Willis has confidence he can make a big play every time by buying time, but he needs to make the necessary little plays instead of letting pressure get to him and forcing hurried throws.”

Well, not only did the mistakes not drop, they got worse. He isn’t comfortable in the pocket, which is exactly where whoever is our QB will be best suited. He tends to not get off his #1 but part of that could be the system he played in.

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Hopefully he plays a blinder and our phone is red hot from teams wanting to trade up to our 2OA.