Tuesday afternoon update: Malik Willis didn’t run the 40-yard dash at his pro-day.
Liberty quarterback Malik Willis is set to have his Pro Day Tuesday, March 22, but fans should probably temper expectations if they’re looking forward to watching him run the 40-yard dash. Willis wrapped the NFL Combine with a throwing session but declined to participate in the usual drills, including the 40-yard dash, but said that he “might” run at his Pro Day.
Though NFL fans are sure to want to pin an official 40-yard dash time on the quarterback, it seems unlikely that he would. Since the Senior Bowl, Willis’ draft stock has continued to climb, now the odds favorite to be the first quarterback selected on DraftKings Sportsbook at -175. In recent mock drafts, he’s been selected as high as No. 2 overall to the Detroit Lions — so what’s the upside of running? If he runs a sub-4.5 40-yard dash, then we’ve confirmed what we already saw on tape — Willis is a stellar athlete, and his draft stock can’t get much higher than it is. If he runs a slow 40, that can only hurt him.
Willis totaled 1,220 rushing yards in his final season with Liberty, leading all non-RBs in the FBS in rushing yards in 2021. He led non-RBs in rushing yards after contact (794), missed forced tackles (90) and rushes of 10 or more yards (46). In short, he’s a great runner. He doesn’t need to prove it with a 40-yard dash.
NFL Network will broadcast Liberty’s Pro Day Special at 12:00 p.m. ET. If you’re away from your TV, you can live stream coverage of Willis’ Pro Day on the NFL Network website or NFL Network app for iOS or Google Play with a valid login.