Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Lions will coach underrated quarterback prospects at the Senior Bowl

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The Detroit Lions will get to coach the American team at the 2022 Senior Bowl, and one of the biggest benefits of the experience for the team will be getting a closer look at the quarterback class.

This year’s class may not be deep, but they have some intriguing talents, especially at play. Alabama will be jam-packed with quarterbacks trying to convince teams that need signal callers like Detroit, and the Lions will have all eyes and work with some of those players.

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The Senior Bowl revealed Thursday, Jan. 13, that the Lions would coach Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, UNC quarterback Sam Howell and Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe.

In addition to Willis, Howell, and Zappe, Lions have a chance to watch the quarterbacks on the other side, including Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, and Carson Strong. All of these players were seen as key figures in the class that year, particularly Pickett and Ridder as two potential first-round picks. With a solid week, both could secure this status.

The quarterbacks, which Detroit will oversee, meanwhile, could be firmly on the NFL radar with a big week while also impressing the Lions first and foremost.

Willis will likely be one of the most intriguing candidates for the remainder of the 2021 college football season, and he already has some intriguing numbers to his name. Before his senior year on the field, Willis had 2,319 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. He also has 1,253 rushing yards and 16 scores on the floor to his credit. Here are some highlights:

So far this year, Willis hasn’t been a problem with the numbers either, lapping 27 touchdowns in just 12 interceptions for 2,857 yards in the 2021 season.

Regarding Howell, he was an interesting potential mock draft choice for the team. He had threw for 7,227 career yards and 68 touchdowns with just 14 interceptions this season. In 2021, Howell has thrown for 3,056 yards and 24 touchdowns. As a result, he tends to be one of the better pros to pick next year. He’s no longer considered a top 10 pick but could be lurking as a potential first-round pick or second-round pick.

Here’s a look at some of Howell’s highlights from 2020:

Zappe is also not one to sleep on, despite having a small school profile. The Hilltoppers quarterback has rushed for 5,967 yards and 62 touchdowns this season and isn’t averse to throwing the ball, which could make for an interesting potential pro career.

Always an annual tradition for the league before the NFL Combine as well as the unofficial kick-off to the pre-draft process, the Senior Bowl will be held in Alabama again this year. It is one of the first events of the offseason where teams and players meet and is a key factor in the offseason evaluation period for the team.

This year’s game is scheduled for February 5 and will be played at the University of South Alabama’s Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. It will be televised by the NFL Network starting at 2:30 p.m. EST, giving fans an up-close look at some of the players who could join their team in the future.

For Lions fans, this game will take on extra meaning in 2022. Not only will fans have the opportunity to look at players who could join the mix, but they will also get a closer look at some of their coaches who work hard on the field to guide those players. That includes a quarterback class that could impress a team like Detroit that might want a young quarterback to build on.

Coaching the game and getting a glimpse of quarterbacks will be a huge benefit for the Lions, especially considering they’ve already been linked with some of those names in mock drafts.

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Coaching the game and getting a glimpse of quarterbacks will be a huge benefit for the Lions, especially considering they’ve already been linked with some of those names in mock drafts.

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