The Atlanta Falcons had their pick of quarterbacks when it came to the 2021 draft class. Atlanta had a chance to draft every quarterback in the class with most staying on the board for the Falcons to pass on at least twice. This includes former Liberty quarterback and current Titans backup Malik Willis.
Willis gave the Titans the first hint of what he can do on Thursday night with a solid debut making a memorable throw and adding in a touchdown scramble at the end.
While Desmond Ridder certainly has shown promise there is reason to wonder if the Falcons selected the wrong quarterback. Willis has the superior arm and is the better rusher as he demonstrated in his first pre-season action.
Willis is going to be a good starting quarterback in this league while he has a higher ceiling than Ridder there is certainly equal bust potential as well. Choosing Desmond might prove to work out for the Falcons, however, they took a risk not drafting Malik Willis.
In fairness to Atlanta, this quarterback class lacked one clear answer at the position with every player in this year’s class having high bust potential. Willis was simply the lower risk for an Atlanta team that should be exploring every opportunity to find a franchise quarterback.
On this current Atlanta roster, there is an argument to be made that Willis would be ready to start from week one while Ridder appears to need time behind veteran Marcus Mariota. His play style, however, is also far more maintainable long-term if he is able to improve his decision-making and the speed with which he gets through his reads.
Choosing not to draft Malik Willis was a risk, one that Atlanta might already be regretting considering the potential he has flashed throughout camp and in early pre-season action.