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Highlights of Malik Willis in his preseason debut

A rookie showed potential by playing well in his first attempt at that position.

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On Thursday, Malik Willis played in his first NFL game. When No. 1 QB Ryan Tannehill missed the first week of the 2022 NFL preseason, the Titans turned to their third-round rookie out of Liberty.

The anticipation for Willis’ debut was great. He has generated interest as a potential first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and put up impressive stats in his final season at Liberty: 2,857 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, 11 interceptions; and 878 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns.

He didn’t let me down.

MORE: Willis was “OK,” but Vrabel believes he needs to improve in a crucial area.

Just over half of the game was played by Willis. Even while he wasn’t flawless, he delivered notable highlights that demonstrated his dynamic playmaking talent. His performance is broken down by The Sporting News.

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A look back at Malik Willis’ Titans debut highlights

Willis didn’t have a good start. On the opening drive of the game, he was under relentless pressure and nearly threw an interception as the Titans went three-and-out.

Willis’s first three passes were all incomplete, and it appeared that Tennessee would have trouble moving the ball against the Ravens. But after three unsuccessful drives, he started to display his two best qualities: arm strength and mobility.

The mobility was first apparent. After the Ravens’ early pass rush spooked him, the Titans made a concerted effort to get him moving. That meant he would have more opportunities to use bootleg passes to leave.

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Willis was positioned to score the first touchdown of his preseason thanks to these rollouts. His amazing 7-yard touchdown run, during which he abruptly altered directions and outran the defense to the corner of the end zone, completed a 72-yard drive.

MALIK WILLIS IS HERE. Watch #TEN vs. BAL on NFL+ now. Tweet this: https://t.co/AXsI2aWMg0 Picture: Namb3PRZIv — NFL, August 12, 2022 (@NFL)

Willis was able to perform better as a passer as he started moving around more and finished a few quick passes.

MORE: Why Despite early excitement, Malik Willis was selected in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

He and the Titans decided to go long against the Baltimore defense on their first play following his score. Racey McMath was able to make an easy 48-yard reception thanks to his finest throw of the game, which was made by @malikwillis, who is streaming #TEN vs. BAL on NFL+. Instagram: OGHz4ug5RM; Twitter: AXsI2aWMg0 — NFL, August 12, 2022 (@NFL)

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Another throw on the drive also stood out, but that one placed the Titans in scoring range. Willis delivered a sidearm pass to tight end Tommy Hudson on a second-and-4 while under pressure; Hudson gained five yards for a first down.

bringing the side weapon out! Malik Willis keeps wowing me, image source: twitter.com/yE8kAyd1vJ – Pro Football Network, August 12, 2022 (@PFN365).

Willis took part in a few plays following the break. Before permanently leaving the game, he ran for 17 yards. His overall completion percentage was 6 out of 11, good for 107 yards and an 88.1 passer rating. On five carries, he gained 38 yards and a touchdown.

READ MORE: Reasons why the Titans don’t anticipate Malik Willis to start in 2022

The radar showed some blips. Willis threw some passes high and was sacked twice, one at the conclusion of the first half.

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Nevertheless, the advantages exceed the drawbacks. Willis shown that he have the talent to start in the future. He will require time to grow them. He won’t likely replace Tannehill as the Titans’ starting during his debut campaign because of this.