Apr 28, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Liberty quarterback Malik Willis on the red carpet at the Fountains of Bellagio before the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Many people expected Malik Willis to be selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. So it was a surprise to many that he was still available in the third round when the Tennessee Titans picked him.

“He was the best player on the board, and we’re excited to have him on the team,” Titans general manager Jon Robinson said. “Good arm, athletic, moves around well, and has a really good skill set. He throws a good ball and is tough to tackle. He’s got a lot of work to do like all these rookies do.”

One person who was also probably pretty surprised was starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who said that he didn’t know the Titans might draft a quarterback this year.

“I texted Malik right after we drafted him as well,” Tannehill said. “I have no problems with Malik. We’re looking to add talent and guys that can help us. We’ll add him to the room and go from there.”

The Titans have said that the plan is to keep Tannehill as their starter but start developing Willis to one-day ascend to that title.

However, when it comes to working closely with the former Liberty quarterback to develop as an NFL starter, Tannehill made it clear that’s not really his responsibility.

“That’s part of being in a quarterback room, in the same room — we’re competing against each other, we’re watching the same tape, we’re doing the same drills,” Tannehill said. “I don’t think it’s my job to mentor him. But if he learns from me along the way, then that’s a great thing.”

The 33-year-old quarterback’s sentiments are causing two distinct reactions in the NFL world. Some feel that it’s a perfectly reasonable comment given that he’s a player and the Titans have a quarterbacks coach whose job it is to train Willis. Also, Tannehill presumably wants to keep his job for a long time and it’s not his responsibility to train his replacement.

However, others see the comments as bad form considering Tannehill is a leader of the team and should be offering support and mentorship however he can to rookies, especially those playing his position.

Ultimately, it’s Tannehill’s job to prove he should remain the quarterback of the Titans and it’s Willis’ job to prepare for the day when it’s his turn. However things work out, they work out. Neither of them probably expected to be in this position and, chances are, at least one of them will be gone from the roster within a couple of years. So we’ll have to see how it all plays out.

[Turron Davenport]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.