Entering day 2 the lack of quarterbacks selected in the first round remains a topic of some debate. Kenny Pickett was the only quarterback selected on day 1 when he was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 20th overall pick.
One prospect to keep a close eye on in the draft is Willis. He is one of the most talented players available and should be a the target of several NFL teams looking for their potential future quarterback.
Here are five teams who should aggressively pursue Willis in the second round.
#1 - Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are likely to be in the market for a quarterback after trading Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos during the offseason. Drew Lock is currently slated to be their starter this year, so they may be looking to potentially upgrade.
The Seahawks are in an excellent position to draft Willis. They currently own the 8th and 9th picks in the second round. This means they could use one on Willis if he's still there or package picks together to move up.
#2 - Detroit Lions
While Jared Goff is under contract until the conclusion of the 2024 season, the way his contract is structured allows for the Detroit Lions to potentially release him following the 2022 NFL season with just ten million in dead cap.
The Lions are in the middle of a complete rebuild of their roster and Goff is unlikely to be there when the project is complete. With the 34th pick, they could potentially draft the young quarterback and develop him behind Goff before taking over as the starter.
#3 - New York Giants
The New York Giants declined to pick up a fifth-year option on Daniel Jones' rookie contract. This means he is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2022 NFL season.
The Giants made major changes during the 2022 offseason, bringing in new general manager Joe Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll. Often times, a new leadership group prefers to select their own quarterback, as could be the case here with Daniel Jones. They have an opportunity to look towards the future by drafting Malik Willis this year with the 36th overall pick.
#4 - Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons are currently in the middle of a complete rebuild of their roster after trading quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones over the last two years. They also hired new head coach Arthur Smith prior to the 2021 NFL season as they commit to the future.
The Falcons recently signed Marcus Mariota to take over as their starting quarterback, but he could just be a transitional fill-in while they look for a long-term answer. Atlanta have the 43rd overall pick. They could potentially draft Willis and let him initially serve as a back-up while learning from Mariota, as the two of them have a similar dual-threat style of quarterbacking.
#5 - Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers were actively seeking an upgrade on Sam Darnold at quarterback during the 2022 offseason. They were aggressive in their pursuit of several potential options, but ultimately struck out on all of them.
The Panthers' next opportunity to find their future quarterback is during the 2022 NFL Draft. The only issue is that they currently don't have another pick until the fourth round, so if they want Malik Willis, they will need to make a move and trade up.