The Steelers have been connected to former Liberty quarterback Malik Willis as a potential Ben Roethlisberger replacement. Someone might want to show him a map first.
Willis has a first-round grade from most reasonable scouts, and his work at the Senior Bowl should only help matters, assuming he shows out as he’s capable of doing.
At practice on Wednesday, Willis was asked about the Steelers, and any connection he might have to Pittsburgh. Willis, however, didn’t discuss the franchise’s six Lombardi’s, the looming legacy of Roethlisberger or anything of the sort.
The man is purely focused on location.
Damn right, Malik. And if the Steelers select the Liberty product at pick No. 20, he’ll have to get familiar with the ‘Burgh fairly quickly, as it’ll be his new home.
Steelers rumors: Will Pittsburgh select Malik Willis in first round?
Willis and the Steelers have had a formal introduction, per Steelers Now reporter Alan Saunders:
"“Willis’ father, Harold Willis, told Steelers Now that general manager Kevin Colbert had introduced himself during Liberty’s win in the LendingTree Bowl, also in Mobile. After practice was over, Tomlin, Colbert and offensive coordinator Matt Canada met up with the family on the concourse.”"
Willis is just one of the quarterbacks the Steelers have shown interest in, including the likes of Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral and UNC’s Sam Howell, among others. With Pickett and Corral potentially off the board by the time the Steelers pick, Howell, Willis and Nevada’s Carson Strong could all be in contention for a Pittsburgh team that desperately needs some direction at quarterback.
The Steelers were said to be high on Howell as recently as midseason, but a down last campaign for the UNC Tar Heels could sway them away. Not to mention, the Steelers have plenty of other holes to fill, including on the offensive line.
In what some have considered a weak quarterback class to begin with, Pittsburgh would be wise to consider all options here. But were they to select Willis, he surely has the confidence to compete on a weekly basis in the Steel City.