Covering the Land of Lincoln

TE prospects for Chargers to watch at Senior Bowl

Nov 26, 2022; Lubbock, Texas, United States; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Brayden Willis (9) runs the ball against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium and Cody Campbell Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Measurables: 6’4″, 239 lbs

Likely draft range: Late Day 3

Willis is essentially a fullback, but the Senior Bowl does list him as a tight end, so we’ll include him on today’s list. Another versatile player, Willis has produced primarily on special teams for the Sooners, but has also made plays as a receiver, runner, blocker, and passer during his Oklahoma career.

As a pro, Willis’ most likely role will be as an H-back or true fullback, where teams can get him into space to serve as a lead blocker on outside runs. That’s where he was at his best at Oklahoma, and NFL teams are increasingly adding college-style run concepts that utilize that skillset. Playing him in-line runs the risk of having bigger defensive linemen outmatch him with power that the 239 pounder simply can’t handle.

The problem with players like Willis is that they require creative vision to unlock. Making use of the versatility he showed at Oklahoma is his best path to NFL success, but an early role on special teams will be how he earns those opportunities. With Zander Horvath and Tre’ McKitty on the roster, it’s unlikely that opportunity comes in LA.

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