LYnchburg, Virginia – Liberty participant proprietor Willis has impressed 60 coaches, scouts, and CEOs from all 32 groups within the NFL, scoring 60 NFL coaches, scouts, and executives from all 32 groups due to arm energy and athletic efficiency. Which made him count on to function a first-round draft choose.
Willis was notably spectacular on Tuesday with the improvised hit that lower 65 yards into the air, with the 22-year-old having no time earlier than the bomb was fired.
However what impressed most Willis, who stated he got here into the day with none targets or expectations, occurred the evening earlier than whereas having dinner with Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
“I am like, ‘Mike Tomlin eats hen wings?'” Willis stated with astonishment after a session that included 70 scripted throws. ” “that is what you need. I imply, he is a traditional man.”
Tomlin, whose staff earned a twentieth choose within the April 28 draft, was one in every of two head coaches in attendance. The opposite was Carolina coach Matt Roll, whose staff completed sixth.
Rhule coordinator and offensive deal with Ben McAdoo spent most of Willis’s 70 performs standing 10 to fifteen yards from the quarterback. Scott Fetterer of Carolina, one of many 4 basic managers/executives current, was not far behind.
The opposite Common Managers/Executives have been Terry Fontenot of Atlanta, Kevin Colbert of Pittsburgh and Marty Herney of Washington.
Carolina and Atlanta final week failed to aim a commerce with Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson, who ultimately went to Cleveland.
So each groups are out there for a quarterback, though Atlanta signed Marcus Mariota after buying and selling Matt Ryan to Indianapolis and the Panthers nonetheless have Sam Darnold below contract.
Washington can be nonetheless out there regardless of buying and selling with Carson Wentz, in addition to Pittsburgh regardless of signing Mitch Trubesky in free company.
There doesn’t seem like any long-term answer. It could possibly be Kenny Beckett of Willis and Pittsburgh, who held his skilled day on Monday, as nicely. They look like the almost certainly to enter the primary spherical, and probably into the highest ten, from what’s seen as a draft with a poor quarterback.
Nothing was weak on Willis’s pro-day, which attracted fewer than 120 observers initially anticipated after free company reset the center market.
The ball exploded from his hand, as many coaches needed to see it dwell. No recreation was extra spectacular than the 65-yard one through which Willis hit the ball from the middle, then slashed again, shove to his proper, reversed his discipline to the left and hit his receiver with an enormous stride on the aim line.
The throws drew smiles from coaches like McAdoo. She was met with applause from colleagues and relations.
Willis responded by working shortly down the court docket to hit his receiver earlier than ending the session with a couple of red-zone throws.
“What do you consider that?” Liberty coach Hugh Fries stated afterwards.
Supporting improvisation and throwing is every part Freeze has been telling NFL groups for months: Willis has the expertise to be a famous person within the professionals despite the fact that he hasn’t at all times confronted high-level opposition at Liberty.
When requested by three groups earlier within the day what Willis wants to enhance on, Freese referred to “lower drops” that typically cancel out the timing of performs.
However by way of the uncooked skill and sportsmanship to improvise as he did at 65 yards, Freeze stated there was no NFL staff that could not use Willis based mostly on the quarterback safety he noticed within the playoffs.
Freese famous that Willis made performs in Liberty “the place the lads round him aren’t so optimistic about apples” with the opponent by way of expertise. He stated Willis would haven’t any issues selecting an NFL playbook or with a soccer IQ.
The Skilled Day additionally showcased what Freeze sees day-after-day in follow, which is that Willis is aware of easy methods to get pleasure from himself whereas being productive.
“I at all times attempt to get out and have enjoyable,” Willis stated. “It is a child’s recreation, and we’re attempting to receives a commission to do it. That is fairly cool in itself.”
Willis didn’t take part in any coaching apart from throwing. When requested why he did not run at 40 yards, he smiled and stated, “I am quick.”
“If I ran 40, that may be cool, however no level,” stated Willis, who was stated to have ran 40 in 4.37 seconds as a sophomore at Auburn. “I used to be simply going to show that I am quick. And if you happen to actually suppose I am quick after which ran quick, I did not actually do something.
“However I am quick.”
Willis can be quick-witted. He confirmed it when requested how lots of people appear to be speaking about him nationwide on TV and social media up to now few months.
“They’re bored,” he stated. “I swear they’re bored. The nationwide highlight, it is type of bizarre. He is like, ‘Hey, you care greater than some individuals I do know do.'” I am like, ‘Dang, you act like we’re cousins.’