(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
The quartet of Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, Brandon Hunt and Matt Canada were at the Liberty pro day on Tuesday to watch Malik Willis, who along with Kenny Pickett is the top quarterback in this year's class. Both Willis and Pickett will likely be gone before the Steelers select at No. 20 overall, both might even be selected in the top 10, so the Steelers would have to trade up for either star quarterback.
Willis would be a dream scenario for Tomlin, as he raved about quarterback mobility throughout the 2021 season and how it's a must-have in today's league.
According to Dave Wells of ABC 13 News, Tomlin had dinner with Willis on Monday night.
“He was eating chicken wings … He’s a good dude,’ Willis said when asked about having dinner with Tomlin.
Longtime draft analyst for the NFL Network Daniel Jeremiah was on Ari Meirov's podcast in February and he flat-out said that all signs point to Willis landing with the Steelers.
“Everyone thinks he’s going there (Pittsburgh) by the way," Jeremiah told Meirov. "Just being down (at the Senior Bowl) and being around NFL circles and buddies, everyone’s saying that he’s going to be a Steeler.”
A lot has changed since February and with Willis having an impressive performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, I would be honestly surprised if he's still around when the Steelers pick at No. 20. They would have to trade up at least 10 spots or more. Personally, I don't think Willis would get passed his hometown Falcons.
In Mel Kiper's latest mock draft, he doesn't have a quarterback coming off the board until No. 18 with the Saints selecting Kenny Pickett. And for the second consecutive mock draft, Kiper as Willis falling to the Steelers.
"The structure of Mitch Trubisky's new contract with Pittsburgh -- just $5.25 million guaranteed over two years -- means this organization absolutely could draft a quarterback here," Kiper said. "Trubisky could be a bridge to Willis, who is raw but supremely talented. As I said when I projected him to the Steelers in my previous mock, he is the most talented quarterback in this class. Willis could compete with Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins in training camp, but he wouldn't be under immediate pressure to start in Week 1. That would be crucial for him. If the Steelers go a different direction, they still have holes to plug along the offensive line and in the secondary."
Willis would be an ideal fit for the Steelers, but I just can't see him being around at No. 20.