NFL Draft Pick No. 4: Seattle Seahawks – Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty
TRADE! The Seattle Seahawks trade ahead of other quarterback-needy teams in the NFC and give up a deal including their No. 9 selection to the Jets to move ahead here.
The Seahawks had no choice but to give up Russell Wilson after too many seasons of not giving him enough protection, and with the Hawks not trading for Baker Mayfield, they look like they’re going to be going into the draft needing a signal-caller.
Strictly speaking, a quarterback shouldn’t be going this early given how weak the draft class is, but exceptions are made for the most important position in football. Many drafts see teams desperate for a quarterback make a reach for better or for worse.
The real question is does Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett go first off the board? Pickett has the higher floor but Willis has the higher ceiling, and in such a comparatively weak class, that’s more important than just a safe pick.
This is not a great season for quarterbacks, but Willis is a rarity in that he’s a physical specimen who can be molded. While there are a lot of things that need to be built up, there’s also a lot to love about Willis.
The biggest strength Willis has is his ability to scramble. He rushed for 878 yards at a 4.5 yards-per-carry average and 13 touchdowns, which shockingly was a step down from his 944 yards at a higher 6.7 YPC and 14 touchdowns. He’s a dual threat in every sense of the word.
He also has a cannon for an arm, if not always the touch to go with it, and his leadership is beyond reproach. If a team can develop his touch and get him out of the habit of holding the ball too long looking for a big play instead of checkdowns, he could easily be the best quarterback in this class.