The Pittsburgh Steelers were left in a bit of a conundrum at quarterback this offseason when Ben Roethlisberger announced his NFL retirement. With the 2022 NFL Draft coming up at the end of April, fans are wondering if the Steelers will try to draft their quarterback of the future.
One name that's been linked to the Steelers is Liberty Flames QB Malik Willis. Although drafting him isn't a guarantee, head coach Mike Tomlin certainly added fuel to the fire with his latest quote regarding the Liberty signal-caller.
Malik Willis Steelers
When reporters asked about his impressions of Willis on Monday, Tomlin told reporters that he thinks the 22-year-old QB is "really impressive," sharp," "grounded," and "comfortable in his skin."
In his two seasons at Liberty, Willis completed 377 passes for 5,107 passing yards and 47 touchdowns to 18 interceptions, while also rushing the ball 338 times for 1,822 rushing yards and another 27 TDs.
Pittsburgh signed QB Mitchell Trubisky to a two-year, $14 million deal this offseason to potentially be their starter going forward. He's likely just a stop-gap under center, though, and the potential that Willis brings to the table might be too much to pass up.
Many draft experts see Willis as the top quarterback in the 2022 class — at least when it comes to potential. It's beginning to look like he'll be the first quarterback off the board, which doesn't bode well for the Steelers, whose first pick isn't until No. 20.
ESPN's Todd McShay reported last week that the Steelers want Willis and how Tomlin "loves" him, but is unsure if Pittsburgh can grab him with its current first-round pick. Perhaps a trade involving picks No. 20, No. 52 and an additional piece will be enough to move the Steelers up in the draft.
Nevertheless, the Steelers have a month to make a deal if they're dead-set on drafting Willis. The 2022 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 28 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, NV.