3 NFL rookies that caused a quarterback controversy in the preseason

NFL rookies, Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
NFL rookies, Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons - Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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NFL rookies
NFL rookies, Tennessee Titans, Malik Willis /

NFL rookies causing a QB controversy: Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans

QB. Titans. 2. player. 35. Scouting Report. Malik Willis. Pick Analysis

Had Malik Willis been selected with one of the top 32 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, you can’t help but wonder if he would have been met with vastly different expectations here in the preseason. After lasting until the third round (unexpectedly), the narrative surrounding Willis is night and day compared to what it was heading into the NFL Draft.

Going into the NFL Draft process, scouts and analysts were understandably poking holes in his game. You’re talking about a potential first-round investment at the game’s most important position, so you have every reason to make as educated of a decision as possible. With that being said, it looks like the league was way too hard on Willis in terms of their evaluation, because he looked really good in the preseason.

Willis ascended this offseason to the QB2 position for the Tennessee Titans, and as a third-round pick, he already looks like a massive steal for that organization. The Titans have had Ryan Tannehill in place as the starting quarterback, but the combination of Tannehill stating he essentially wasn’t going to mentor Willis along with Willis being vastly under-drafted has almost the entire NFL community rooting for the rookie.

You can’t help but wonder — are the Titans thinking the same thing behind closed doors?

Tannehill is a proven commodity in the NFL. He’s a solid starting quarterback when he’s healthy, and thank goodness he’s been able to stay healthy for the Titans, for the most part. That was a huge reason the Dolphins let him go as a former first-round pick. Now, though, coming off of a season in which he had the lowest touchdown percentage of any non-rookie season in his NFL career, Tannehill is at a fork in the road.

Not only was his touchdown percentage down to four percent, but Tannehill’s INT percentage was the highest it’s been (2.6 percent) as a member of the Titans.

Is there a QB controversy in Tennessee? I’m sure Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson wouldn’t admit it, but we all saw Malik Willis in the preseason and we all know exactly what Tannehill brings to the table.