Hand Technique/Length –His hands are quite developed, really effective club maneuver to pop hands off his chest and shows good push/pull combo to yank blockers off their platform. But his extension skills are super limited, hindering his leverage and ability to win reps quickly at first contact.
Competitive Toughness –Motor runs hot on penetration reps and shows an ability to pinball off contact effectively when he's dialed in. Lapses are too common and too egregious, however. Will get kicked out of the club by double teams and drive blocks against powerful iOL.
Two Gap Ability –Will not successfully hold the point of attack against drive blocks and lacks the length needed to stack and shed when ball is carried off his hip pocket. Lacks discipline to stay low at the LOS and will get caught peeking for the football, giving up even more of his leverage.
Gap Penetration Skills –Possesses the functional strength to play through down blocks and lateral contact when he's fully committed to driving into the backfield and create havoc. Really like how well he can collect himself heels deep and proceed to mirror the ball carrier for disruptive TFLs.
Tackling –Will swallow you whole if he's able to square you up at the LOS. Absorbs ball carriers with a head of steam with little issue thanks to thick lower half. Lack of tackle radius is masked by short area movement skills and ability to slide and mirror in the phone booth.
Flexibility –Does flash corners with speed and momentum, capable of working his hips through tight spaces when he's got forward push at the snap. Plays too tall at the point of attack and gets uprooted and pushed around by technically refined blockers.
Pass Rush Counters –Has successfully implemented sweep, swim, rip/club and push/pull. Adding in speed to power conversion, he's got a plethora of maneuvers at his disposal. Can get paralyzed by his options sometimes, however. Would like to see a little more flexibility in what counter he attacks with.
First Step Quickness –When he wants to, he can really get after it off the snap. Successful releases often result in hip-to-hip results before blockers are even able to get out of the starting blocks. Hand usage prior to first contact further enables penetration reps.
Feet/Change Of Direction –Shouldn't be as nimble as he is, definitely meets the requirements for \"dancing bear\" classification. Nimble, light footed and does well in redirection efforts to parlay his momentum into new trajectory, isn't robbed by his momentum when he's forced to adjust on the fly.
Versatility –Should be considered only for a 3T role in the NFL. Willis won't hold up against double teams and keeping him out of the A-gaps will help protect him from getting washed out. Three down role is possible in an aggressive, penetration style defensive system.
BEST TRAIT – Gap Penetration
WORST TRAIT – Length
BEST FILM – LSU (2018)
WORST FILM – Boston College (2018)
RED FLAGS –Sat out 2017 for personal reasons. 2015 transfer.
Gerald Willis has a lot of enticing flashes at the point of attack as a dominating penetration presence. Willis understands how to slip blocks and use his hands to uncover in gaps. That said, length is a problem and so is consistency. Willis concedes his chest far too often and will subsequently get manhandled at the point of attack. There's off the field flags as well, Willis should be considered a high ceiling/low floor prospect in the 2019 Draft.