NASHVILLE – The Titans drafted Liberty's Malik Willis in the third round of Friday night's NFL Draft, adding a talented, decorated quarterback to the football team.
It's now up to Willis to determine how quickly he sees the field with the Titans.
"I am just blessed to have somewhere to go, somewhere to call home," Willis said on a conference call Friday night after getting drafted. "I am appreciative of the opportunity to play at the next level, and I'm just ready to go in and work hard and be the best teammate I can be."
The Titans selected Willis with the 86th overall pick, after the team moved up to get him. The Titans traded pick numbers 90 and 169 to the Raiders to get in position to draft Willis.
Titans General Manager Jon Robinson said Willis was the best player on the team's board at the time. Willis, who traveled to Las Vegas for the draft and was projected as a Top 10 pick in some mock drafts, expressed gratitude to the Titans for picking him, even if it came later than he'd hoped.
"I have faith, man, and I have faith that God was going to put me wherever He needs me to go," Willis said. "I just have to understand that I don't run things down here, and He does. He has a plan for me, and I am appreciative that He put me somewhere where I feel like I can grow and just get better."
Immediately, there were questions about his role, and what it means for veteran Ryan Tannehill.
"We are excited to add him to the team, and let him compete," Robinson said of Willis. "I think his role will be determined by how quickly he comes in here and learns the offense and improves and gains the respect of his teammates, no different than any other player."
"We are excited to add Malik to the quarterback room," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "We are really just excited about being able to develop young players and see what happens. I don't think anybody is going to be able to talk about anybody's future tonight. … I know Malik is ready to get here, and get to work."
Willis arrived with impressive credentials.
In 2021, Willis accounted for 65.9 percent of Liberty's total offensive yards (Team Yards: 5,671/Willis: 3,736). He completed 207-of-339 passing attempts for 2,857 yards and 27 touchdowns and he was also Liberty's leading rusher, having carried the ball 197 times for 878 yards and 13 touchdowns. He broke his own single-season school record with 40 total touchdowns (27 passing, 13 rushing).
In the NFL, Willis knows he'll have to work hard.
"I want to be the best teammate I can be, and I want to come in and try and learn as much as I can," Willis said. "I want to keep getting better every day so I can help the team in any way they ask me to.
"I feel like I have a lot of strengths, and I have some weaknesses as well. I just want to continue to improve and get better so I can play to my highest level."
The Titans selected Liberty QB Malik Willis in the third round of Friday night's NFL Draft. Willis was taken with the 86th overall pick.