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Tennessee Titans End The Slide For Malik Willis And Now Have A Tannehill Successor

LAS VEGAS — Ryan Tannehill has rarely had to compete for his job during his time in the NFL He may have to start competing now because the Tennessee Titans Friday night draft Malik Willis in the third round of the NFL draft.

The Titans traded up with the Las Vegas Raiders, giving up the 90th and 169th overall selections to acquire the 86th overall pick and select Willis. The trade up shows the urgency the Titans had for adding the Liberty University quarterback in the round.

Willis has, according to most NFL scouts, the best arm talent of any quarterback in this draft.

The reason he was not drafted earlier is undoubtedly that he is very, very, very raw. As one scout said, “it’s a big jump from Liberty to the NFL.”

But given some time to develop, Willis has the skills to be an NFL starter.

“He’s got big-time, big-time ability,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said.

It’s unlikely Willis will be able to unseat Tannehill immediately and probably not even in 2022. But next year Tannehill can easily become a salary cap casualty because the Titans can save upwards of $27 million off the cap by cutting him with a post June 1st designation.

Tannehill, who has struggled mightily in the playoffs in recent years, will be 34 years old in July.

Willis will be 23 years old next month.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

Armando Salguero has covered the NFL since 1990 for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald and ESPN. He was a 2016 Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 columnist. He is a Pro Football Hall of Fame selector and AP All-Pro team voter.

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