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Malik Cunningham Scouting Report: 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Report


Quarterback, Louisville Cardinals #3 




40 time: 4.55 reported


Malik Cunningham NFL Draft Player Profile 


Louisville QB Malik Cunningham

Louisville QB Malik Cunningham

Get the popcorn out, because this dual threat QB is absolutely electrifying to watch. Malik Cunningham is a former 3 star recruit per ESPN from Montgomery, Alabama and played for Park Crossing High School. He was ranked the number 9 dual threat QB in the state of Alabama and number 33 pure athlete. His high school career stats included 6,276 passing yards, 71 passing tds with a 63% completion percentage. He also ran for 1,926 and 31 rushing tds. In his senior season, he threw for 2,913 yards and 30 passing touchdowns. Cunningham added 1,015 rush yards and 19 rush touchdowns en route to the 6-A state semifinal game.

He participated in the Adidas Showcase and was selected for the Offense-Defense All American game. Cunningham had several offers to big schools including Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Kentucky, Memphis, and Purdue, however he ultimately chose to play with Louisville.


Malik Cunningham Strengths 



When Cunningham plays, the first skill you notice is his speed and acceleration when he takes off to run. Accordingly, he is very fast and very shifty with defenders and is capable of outrunning defensive backs. He outruns so many people on film it’s incredible. The minute you think that a defender has him, he takes off and is already 4 yards ahead of that defender. Basically, he showed off his unreal acceleration.


Playmaking Ability 

When Cunningham plays, he makes very clutch scrambles and key passes in a game. He has the “it” factor when it comes to needing to make a big play for his team. For example, he does this in a key 3rd down situation, a pass that needed incredible placement, or one of his many 30+ yard scrambles down the field.


Throw On The Run 

I believe his strength as a passer is when he scrambles out of the pocket. Defenses are so worried that he will take off and run that often they leave their receivers wide open when he scrambles out of the pocket. His passes out of the pocket are very accurate in the short and intermediate range. His form throwing on the run is solid for any QB who runs the football.




Louisville QB Malik Cunningham

Louisville QB Malik Cunningham

I was amazed by just how great his vision was once he got into the open field. Likewise, his instincts for running are off the charts and he always finds ways around defenders. He is great at changing his direction in an instant. For example, he played Duke this year and had one of the most electrifying runs from a QB you will ever see. He goes right, faking a pass to make 2 defenders react and miss a tackle on him, breaks 2 tackles going back to the middle of the field, runs to the other side of the field and proceeds to just outrun the entire defense. It showed how truly gifted he is with his vision. He is great at knowing where defenders are, and where his running lanes are.


Malik Cunningham Weaknesses 


Struggles Against More Competitive Talent 

I noticed watching film of Cunningham’s play against opponents with more talent like Clemson and Ole Miss, he struggled to be the player who can be an absolute game wrecker. Furthermore, he was lucky to break out any magical runs down field. It was also difficult for him to make clutch passes against these teams as defenses took away his strength, which was his running ability. Overall, he was was forced to beat a team through the air, which is an area that needs improvement.


Decision Making When Unable to Run 

Cunningham seems to think scramble first, instead of trying to make a play downfield with his arm. His decision making suffers when running lanes are taken away. He tends to overthrow his receivers, also he forces throws into small windows that get intercepted. In addition, I believe he fails to go through his progressions.


Technique/Footwork In The Pocket 


Too often Cunnigham made throws without his feet being set or being flat footed. This often led to overthrows and too much air on his throws. He can put too much air on his throws, because of this he often misses on downfield passes. Too often he doesn’t work in the pocket and abandons reads, though his strength is out of the pocket throwing. Pocket work is a must at the next level in the NFL to succeed as a QB.


Malik Cunningham Draft Stock 


Louisville QB Malik Cunningham

Louisville QB Malik Cunningham

It is unknown if Cunningham will be declaring for the draft this year or not. It is looking more likely he will be returning to Louisville for another season. Now that he is, he could be returning as a likely Heisman candidate for next year. If he were to declare for the draft this season, I see him being drafted 3rd to 4th round based on the many QB prospects. He is currently ranked 16th in the nation. It would be wise of him to stay another season to work on his play. Accordingly, this would add more draft value in the following year.


Final Thoughts on Malik Cunningham Scouting Report

Malik Cunningham is an electric athlete on the football field. His distinct ability is his running, change of direction, vision and ability to throw on the run, because of this he is a big play threat. He is a true game changer against his opponents. I do believe he needs to work on being a pure passer in the pocket, given that it is needed at the pro level like Lamar Jackson has done over the past couple years. If he develops his passing in the pocket, he might be a top 3 QB prospect for the 2023 NFL Draft.


NFL Comparison 

This one is a very easy comparison for me. Malik is compared to fellow Louisville Cardinal QB Lamar Jackson. Overall, Cunningham could be the next Lamar Jackson, because they play a very similar game. Both are electrifying with the ball in their hands and have the arm ability that can be improved over time.

Malik Cunningham Scouting Report by Keith Libby.



Malik Cunningham is returning to Louisville for the 2022 season.