Could the Houston Texans turn everything upside down by selecting Malik Willis with the third overall pick?
During the 2022 NFL Combine, teams visit with players to learn more about them. So it was somewhat surprising when it was revealed that Malik Willis had a visit with the Houston Texans. Yes, there are the “due diligence” and “leave no stone unturned” methods of approaching this. But when the Houston Texans only have one true quarterback that’s at least guaranteed to play this season, this visit becomes significant.
Willis took little-known Liberty University and is basically their greatest player of all time. Willis threw for 5,176 yards and 47 touchdowns in two seasons and is set to be the school’s first first-round selection since tight end Eric Green in 1990, who went to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As great as that was, Willis’ Senior Bowl performance was less-than-stellar as Willis only completed two passes for 11 yards. Then when Willis got the combine and blew everyone away with one of the prettier deep passes we’ve seen in some time, it sure caught a lot of people off guard.
Let’s get to it- should the Houston Texans draft Willis with the third pick?
This is a two-part answer. The first is the answer is no, as they have seemingly committed to Davis Mills for the recent future. However long that future lasts is anyone’s guess. While Willis also had over 1700 yards rushing in two seasons, it’s the limited amount of passing production that would be a concern.
Running quarterbacks only last so long before they’re forced to convert to pocket passing. Choose your examples depending upon the era of football you grew up with.
The second part of this answer is that, like many things the Houston Texans have tried to this offseason, is that it’s all contingent upon what happens with Deshaun Watson. Willis recently said that he’s like Watson on and off the field, which in hindsight could have been worded better from Willis himself.
Willis wasn’t really forecasted to come to Houston, but anything can happen. If he slides past Detroit with the second overall pick, it will be something to keep an eye on.