Titans rookie QB Malik Willis has some sparkling highlights in preseason debut

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Quarterback Malik Willis was projected to be a first-round pick by many analysts.

On Thursday night, we could see why.

The Tennessee Titans got Willis in the third round after he fell in the draft. He got the start in the Titans' preseason opener as Ryan Tannehill rested, and he made a few highlights that are likely to make Tennessee fans excited about what the future might bring.

The biggest highlight of the night was a 7-yard touchdown run. It wasn't a normal 7-yard run. Willis dropped back past the 15-yard line, spun away from the defense to his left, got the corner and then cut back inside to get in the end zone. It was a great display of athleticism.

Willis also has a cannon arm, which he showed off on a 48-yard pass to Racey McMath in the second quarter. That set up a field goal.

Also on that drive, Willis had a sidearm throw with the defense coming at him that was Patrick Mahomes-esque.

Willis put on quite a show. He played the first half and completed 6-of-11 passes for 107 yards, with 21 more rushing yards.

Yes, it was against backups. And just because he had some splash plays doesn't mean he'll be a star at quarterback. He was indecisive way too often against the Ravens. He'll need to prove he can be consistent to go along with those highlights, and do it when games count. It's still a big jump from Liberty to the NFL.

But it's OK to be excited about a quarterback who might end up being a really fun player for the Titans. Maybe he shouldn't have slipped so far in the draft.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of Thursday's preseason game. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of Thursday's preseason game. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)