Lions know the quarterback prospects they’ll work with at Senior Bowl

Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images /

The roster assignments for the 2022 Senior Bowl quarterbacks have been announced, and the Detroit Lions know which three they’ll work closely with all week.

Earlier this week, it was announced the Detroit Lions coaching staff will work down at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. It’s a valuable evaluation tool as the pre-draft process gets rolling, with the ability to get a close look at incoming senior draft prospects.

The Lions will coach the American Team during the practice week and during the Senior Bowl game on Feb. 5. On Thursday, the three quarterbacks for each roster were announced.

The Lions will have Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell and Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe on the American team roster. The New York Jets are coaching the National Team, and they’ll get Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder and Nevada quarterback Carson Strong.

A look at the Lions Senior Bowl quarterbacks

Willis followed a nice first season at Liberty in 2020 (34 total touchdowns, nearly 3,200 total yards) with 40 total touchdowns and over 3,700 total yards this past season. He is a raw prospect, projected as high as top half of the first round depending on the mock you’re looking at. The Lions will get a very valuable closer look at him.

Howell entered the 2021 season in the conversation to be the first quarterback drafted in April 2022. A rough season opener against Virginia Tech proved tough to recover from, as his supporting cast was also diminished by multiple NFL exits to the 2021 draft. However his tools remain intriguing, and the former Tar Heel notably added a running element to his game last season (828 yards, 11 touchdowns). Howell is a possible first-round pick.

Zappe set NCAA records for passing yards (5,967) and passing touchdowns (62) in his lone year at Western Kentucky. He followed assistant coach Zach Kittley from Houston Baptist to WKU, operating the same Air Raid offense he did before with Kittley as the offensive coordinator for the Hilltoppers. He is a Day 2 or Day 3 prospect.

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