Only one year after being the third quarterback off of the board in the 2022 NFL Draft, rumors have begun to spiral that Malik Willis may not make the Tennessee Titans 53-man roster. This comes after the Titans drafted Will Levis in the second round of the 2023 draft. Last season, Willis had a very rough showing in his eight appearances and three starts. He finished the season throwing for 276 yards, zero touchdowns, and three interceptions while only completing 50.8% of his passes. However, he proved to be a quarterback that could make his presence felt in the run game. On 27 rushing attempts, he scrambled for 123 yards and a touchdown.
These are by no means stellar stats, and it makes sense as to why he may be cut by the Titans, however, there are three teams that could take a chance on the still-young quarterback if he is released.
The first team that could take a chance on Willis is the Atlanta Falcons. They also took a quarterback in the 2022 NFL draft Desmond Ridder. While he had a better rookie campaign than Willis, Ridder did not set the league ablaze by any means. With the Falcons in an odd spot between rebuilding and contending for a playoff spot. If Ridder is unable to get the job done once again this season, there is a chance that the coaching staff will not hesitate to turn to their new backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke.
However, after Heinicke, the Falcons’ QB depth chart takes a strong decline. Willis could easily slide into the second or third spot on the Falcons’ depth chart, and if any injuries were to occur, he could even get the chance to start on this team. While he still has a lot of work to do in the passing game, he and Falcons’ rookie running back Bijan Robinson would make for an incredible duo in the rushing attack.
The second team that could sign Willis is the Chicago Bears. Justin Fields is poised to have a breakout season in 2023 and proved himself as one of the most dangerous quarterbacks on the ground in the league last season. While he will look to prove himself more as a passer this season, there is no doubt that he will not hesitate to tuck the ball and scramble whenever the opportunity presents itself. As we have seen from Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens, that style of play can take a big toll on a player through the entirety of a 17-game season.
As a result of this, Willis would be a great fit and he would fit Chicago’s system very well. They would not have to make major changes to the offense if they were forced to play Willis. However, he would have to find a way to beat out P.J. Walker for the starting spot if Fields were to suffer an injury or be benched. Walker also plays a similar style of game to Fields, however, he is a much more reliable passer than Willis is.
The final team that may take a shot at Willis is the Green Bay Packers. After the departure of Aaron Rodgers, the Packers will be forced to experiment a bit this season on how the team will be constructed moving forward. They picked up Jordan Love’s fifth-year option, however, he has only started in one game throughout his entire time in the NFL.
With not much of a track record, no one really knows what to expect from Love, and if he proves that he is incapable of being the Packers’ starter moving forward, it would be great to have another young option in Willis to slide into the starting spot and give him another chance in a change of scenery. Green Bay is a very young team, and likely would not mind giving Willis a chance to prove himself, even if it led to them losing a couple of extra games, in turn improving their draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
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