It’s no secret that New Orleans needs a quarterback.
And it’s well-known that this year’s QB class is considered weak by scouts and draft evaluators.
What’s still a mystery? The Saints’ new offensive coordinator.
The most recent report from The Times-Picayune says the team is considering bringing back a pair of former New Orleans assistants in Doug Marrone and John Morton. Marrone is a former Jacksonville head coach who served as the Saints offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 2006-2008. Morton was the Saints receivers coach from 2015-2016.
Reports say one of them could become the new offensive coordinator under head coach Dennis Allen, who was recently elevated after serving as the team’s defensive coordinator.
Regardless, the new OC is going to want a quarterback who fits his particular style. Need a more pro-style, traditional QB? Then Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett should be in play. Want more of a gunslinger? Then Ole’ Miss junior Matt Corral could be the pick. Want a Baker Mayfield-starter kit? Then North Carolina’s Sam Howell is your man.
But of all the quarterbacks who participated in the recent Senior Bowl, the one who stood out the most was Liberty’s Malik Willis.
At 6-feet, 220-pounds, the redshirt senior went 2-for-4 for 11 yards passing and ran the ball 4 times for 54 yards, including a long of 27.
Don’t let those numbers fool you.
It’s what Willis did during practices that may have solidified his place in the first round.
From Walter Football: “Of all the quarterbacks in Mobile … Willis clearly has the strongest arm. He was the only quarterback at (the) Senior Bowl who has a legit power arm for the next level. The ball explodes out of Willis’ hand, and with a quick flick of the wrist, he can fire a fastball. Willis has easy arm strength to go vertical, and his passes cut through the challenging weather conditions in (Mobile) without impacting his tight spirals. There is no doubt that Willis has a big-time arm capable of throwing frozen ropes and going downfield.”
Willis, of course, comes with some question marks, starting with the level of competition he faced at Liberty. Walter Football says he also needs to work on his mechanics, accuracy and field vision.
For what it’s worth, Willis has already talked to Saints officials – although that’s to be expected, as New Orleans will likely interview all the top QB prospects before the draft.
Folks – THIS is why I say arm strength matters!!!
Malik Willis throws this ball over 50 yards WHILE DRIFTING BACKWARDS! pic.twitter.com/E8wlu5kkb8
— Mark Tyler(Hogs Haven) (@Tiller56) February 5, 2022