In a thin quarterback class, the Atlanta Falcons have a tough choice to make with the 8th overall pick. A decision that should be made for them if Malik Willis is off the board before the Falcons select in the first round. If that is the case there should be no question Atlanta should focus on the defense or the offensive line.
Malik Willis is the only quarterback Atlanta should be willing to take in the first round. This isn’t to say that he will be a sure thing, rather that his upside is high enough for Atlanta to risk the first-round pick on the most important position on the field.
What makes Willis so exciting as a prospect is his ability both in the pocket and his pure arm strength combined with his ability to make plays with his feet. He helped carry Liberty into football relevance and put together a great career that will certainly make him a first-round draft pick in this class.
The biggest question for Atlanta is whether he will make it past the Lions, Panthers, and Giants? All three teams pick ahead of Atlanta and should be looking to find an answer at the position. If, however, all three teams pass on Willis Atlanta should draft him without question.
Willis is from Atlanta and spent time with Auburn before putting together an impressive college career with Liberty. Willis would be embraced by the fanbase and quickly become a popular player in a sports market with plenty of star power.
Trae Young and Ronald Acuna Jr. are clearly the faces of Atlanta sports right now. Willis has the skill to join them and push the Falcons back to relevance within the next two seasons. Taking Malik 8th overall certainly accelerates the timetable of the rebuild but if he is still on the board it is a move the team must make and will regret if they don’t.
He is the one quarterback in this draft Atlanta should feel safe taking that early. If he isn’t there Atlanta shouldn’t consider taking a quarterback before the second or third round.