The NFL Draft is always a crapshoot, and the 2022 NFL Draft will be no different.
Even Andrew Luck had a few flaws in his game as a prospect, and he was widely considered one of the most sure-thing draft picks of all time. You just never know how a player will truly transition from college to the pros.
They can seize the moment and become a superstar, much like Luck. Or, they could go down the path of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf, to name a few notorious draft busts.
These two players, in particular, have the most boom-or-bust potential in this draft.
Malik Willis, Quarterback, Liberty
Malik Willis has the arm and athletic ability to be a star. He’s exactly what NFL teams are looking for in a modern-day quarterback.
He has good size at 6-foot-1, 215-pounds, but his two most intriguing qualities are his arm strength and ability to run.
Willis throws dimes and they leave his hand like they were blasted out of a cannon. He wears No. 7, which is ironic because he looks a lot like Michael Vick when he turns on the boosters and takes off downfield. He has excellent straight-line speed and the wiggle and elusiveness that conjure up images of Vick during his heyday with Virginia Tech or the Atlanta Falcons.
Willis threw for 2,857 yards and 27 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in his senior season at Liberty. The year before, he put up 2,260 yards and 20 touchdowns with six interceptions.
His Pro Day was a sight to see. Willis zipped the ball around the field with coaches like Mike Tomlin and Matt Rhule in attendance. He looked like a superstar, though, of course, he was playing in shorts and a t-shirt and against air.
Perhaps that’s the biggest red flag for Willis. He looked like a superstar, but that was at Liberty.
Though the Flames are amongst the ranks of the FBS Independents, joining notable programs like Notre Dame, BYU, and Army, the best team Liberty beat in 2021 was arguably North Texas from Conference USA, which finished with a 6-7 overall record.
The best team Liberty played was No. 16 Ole Miss, by far. In fact, the Rebels were the only ranked team the Flames took on.
Playing against the best competition he faced all year, Willis completed just 16-of-25 passes for 173 yards and no touchdowns with three interceptions. His QBR in that game was an abysmal 29.6.
That game did not bode well for Willis’ ability to play against elite competition in the NFL, and it’s a contest NFL scouts with quarterback-needy teams are going to undoubtedly circle as a big red flag.
Skyy Moore, Wide Receiver, Western Michigan
Let’s be clear right off the top. Skyy Moore out of Western Michigan is one of the best athletes in the 2022 NFL Draft.
He has a combination of speed and route-running ability that make him a borderline first-round prospect. He caught 95 passes for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Broncos last season, averaging an explosive 13.6 yards per catch.
Moore can do it all, but he does have some limitations.
It’s worth noting that coming from Western Michigan is not one of them.
The Broncos have sent several high-level players to the NFL in the past. That’s a list that includes Jason Babiin, who the Houston Texans selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Greg Jennings, who was drafted a round later, was a massive part of the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl run in 2010-11, and he’ll soon enter their Hall of Fame.
Safety Louis Delmas came from Western, and he was one of the better safeties in the league during his time with the Detroit Lions.
More recently, Corey Davis had himself a decent year (494 yards and four touchdowns) with the New York Jets.
It’s not Alabama, but Western sends some athletes to the league, so that’s not a black mark on Moore’s resume. What is, though, is his size.
He checked in at just 5-foot-10, 195-pounds, and the NFL combine. Yes, he’s a shifty receiver who excels in open space, and yes, he ran a 4.41 40-yard-dash.
Small wideouts can succeed in the NFL. Heck, Tyreek Hill is only 5-foot-10, 185 pounds.
The difference for Hill is that he’s a generational talent.
That’s not to say that Moore can’t be as well, but he’ll first have to prove that he can handle the rigors of playing against an NFL defense for at least 17 games.
If he can stay healthy and prove that his speed works in open space, Moore can live up to his incredible potential. It also wouldn’t be supriisng if he was a flash-in-the-pan prospect, though, so interested teams will have to weigh the risk/reward.