Updated: Mar 5
(Photo by Michael Hickery/Getty Images)
Liberty quarterback Malik Willis has a cool confidence about himself. It's not cocky or artificial, either. Willis gave a great answer at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday in Indianapolis when he was asked about the naysayers who doubt him because he's coming out of a Non-Power 5 school.
"Somebody's always gonna think you're trash," Willis said. "If you focus so hard on whatever everyone's opinion is of you, you're never gonna be happy. I want to be happy, so I'm not gonna think about it. You can say what you want to."
That's a great mindset to have in any walk of life, as not everyone is going to be fond of you. When Willis was asked if he's the best quarterback in this year's draft, he displayed confidence, but it wasn't overboard. And displayed logic too, as it's not up for him to decide.
"I think so, but I don't make those decisions," Willis said. "I hate that for me."
Then on Thursday, Willis was captured on the streets of Indianapolis helping out someone on hard times. This wasn't Willis filming himself either or a social media team nearby. It was just natural and genuine. Willis has a tremendous skill set and potential as a franchise quarterback, but he's showing teams in Indianapolis that he has high character and will be a great leader, as well.
Willis has been frequently linked to the Steelers in mock drafts, as both Mel Kiper and Daniel Jeremiah have Willis going to the Steelers at 20th overall. Jeremiah says the Steelers are really intrigued by Willis. Tony Pauline is also hearing that the Steelers "love" Willis. This past season, Mike Tomlin raved about quarterback mobility and how it's a must-have in today's league.
Willis was asked by reporters at the Combine if he's a fit in the Steelers offense, and Willis said he's not really knowledgeable with what the Steelers run.
"I'm not sure. I don't know. I don't enough about their offense," Willis said. "I met the coaches and I can get behind that. They're good people."
Willis also told reporters on Wednesday that he will throw at the Combine, but he will not run or participate in other drills.
According to Jeff Howe, Willis has been blowing teams away with his interviews at the combine. Howe also says that of the teams he's spoken to, the overwhelming majority believe Willis has the highest ceiling of the quarterbacks in this draft class.