Pretty much all of the talk about last night’s Tennessee Titans loss to the Baltimore Ravens is about the performance of Malik Willis. Most people feel that the Titans got an absolute steal when Willis fell to them in the 3rd round of the draft. That is why Jon Robinson traded up to get him there. Last night you saw why he has the ability to be special - he has plenty of arm and he is special as a runner. You also saw some things that he needs to work on - especially being more aggressive.
I am the most reasonable person on Titans Twitter. Allow me to break it down:
The arm strength is there
The highlight of the night was this deep completion to Racey McMath:
Malik to McMath @ohrae17_— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 12, 2022
: Watch #TENvsBAL on @WKRN pic.twitter.com/RvLz6mIilg
That’s a pretty play that highlights Malik’s arm and Racey McMath’s ability to take the top off the defense.
There was also this “dart” as Graver called it from Willis to Mason Kinsey:
Malik Willis dart to Mason Kinsey for 20 yards #TENvsBAL pic.twitter.com/ydcOLruAVe— Justin Graver (@titansfilmroom) August 12, 2022
The ability to create something from nothing is most definitely there
The touchdown run was a perfect example of that.
Malik making plays! @malikwillis— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 12, 2022
: Watch #TENvsBAL on @WKRN pic.twitter.com/bpJHuRof27
There was also this throw that was just from a crazy angle:
Short throw but the arm angle Malik Willis pulls off here is insane #TENvsBAL pic.twitter.com/Ubq5DL6nhJ— Justin Graver (@titansfilmroom) August 12, 2022
He’s really fast!
Titans rookie QB Malik Willis (19.19 mph top speed) evaded three Ravens defenders on his way to the end zone for a 7-yard TD run.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) August 12, 2022
Willis accounted for 3 of the top 5 fastest speeds by Titans offensive ball-carriers on the night.#TENvsBAL | #Titans pic.twitter.com/kCRgjPP5Bz
He needs to be more aggressive from the pocket
If Willis lets this fly we might be having a different Burks discussion today pic.twitter.com/0Zepb3sast— Kevin Cole (@KevinColePFF) August 12, 2022
If he throws that ball it’s a 60-yard touchdown, and as Cole says, we are having a different conversation about Treylon Burks and Willis today (not to mention my Draft Kings account would have more money in it, but that’s not what we are talking about here).
He needs to stay in the pocket longer
Another in the category of “throw the ball, Malik”. It’s 3rd and 14 after a sack. Titans OL does a good job blocking it up here. Burks (bottom right) is open, but Willis isn’t looking at him. Chig also has lots of room in the left flat (better chance to get the 1st than Malik). pic.twitter.com/MmxhDG0cjf— Mike Herndon (@MikeMiracles) August 12, 2022
There was good and bad last night from Willis. That’s the type of performance we should have expected from him if we were being honest with ourselves. The good news is the things he struggles with are correctable. It is mostly just a product of the offense he played in at Liberty.
The most important thing will be to see progress on these things as the preseason games move along. Willis didn’t have any issues under center last night. That is a sign that he is willing to put the work in. I expect him to look a lot different when the Titans take on the Arizona Cardinals in week three of the preseason.