The Tarheel went number two in the 1965 Draft, with the San Francisco 49ers being the recipient of his talents. Willard went to the Pro Bowl in four of his first five seasons, and he had five top-nine finishes in Rushing Yards. He was a workhorse for the 49ers with five top-six rankings in Touches, with three of them in the top three.
Following 1973, Willard played one final year in Pro Football with the St. Louis Cardinals. Overall, Willard rushed for 5,930 Yards, caught 273 passes for 2,156 Yards with 61 Touchdowns.