Panthers 7-round 2022 NFL mock draft: Major trade brings options

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) James Cook
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) James Cook /
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Carolina Panthers
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Malik Willis /

2382. Pick Analysis. QB. Liberty. MalikWillis. 10. Scouting Report. player

Carolina Panthers select Malik Willis

Matt Rhule is very much in the hot seat this upcoming season and has not gained public support from David Tepper. One of the biggest reasons why there appears to be so much pressure on the head coach is because of his failure of finding a franchise quarterback.

However, in this mock draft scenario, Scott Fitterer’s gamble of doing business with the New York Jets pays off with the selection of quarterback Malik Willis.

There are plenty of things to like and dislike about Willis. There is no denying his arm talent – he can make throws to all three levels of the field with little to no issue.

To add to his arm talent, Willis also is an elite runner who has displayed power, elusiveness, vision, and the long speed to break angles on longer runs.

Despite coming into the NFL with an intriguing skill set, Willis still needs some time before starting in the NFL. He tends to throw every pass at 100 MPH and will need to learn how to control the tempo and rhyme of his passes. The former Liberty star also tends to escape clean pockets and gets panicky when pressure arrives.

Like many of the top quarterbacks in this draft class, Willis should not see the field early on. Thankfully in this scenario, he could sit and learn behind a free agent quarterback Fitterer may have signed in free agency. Whether that’s Mitchell Trubisky, Marcus Mariota, or Tyrod Taylor, before making his first start in 2023.

It is unclear if the drafting of Willis or any quarterback saves Rhule’s job. Either way, the Carolina Panthers can lock up their signal-caller of the future.