Steelers could have their eye on their future QB in Malik Willis
Malik Willis is putting on a show just in time for next month’s NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-0 1⁄2, 219-pound former Liberty quarterback, who is already considered by many to be the best quarterback in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft, held a clinic with his deep passes at NFL Scouting Combine Thursday.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were reportedly seen courting Willis after he dazzled in this year’s Senior Bowl, and numerous fictional drafts brought the 22-year-old to the Steelers in the first round.
Asked if he thought the Steelers would be a good choice for him, Willis – who said he met all 32 teams in preparation for the draft – said he didn’t know enough about their offense to know if this would be a game.
Willis may be unsure about his future in Pittsburgh, but Colin Cowherd is certain he’s ready for the NFL — wherever he lands.
Cowherd had the following to say about Willis when “The Herd” aired on Friday.
“He’s had a remarkable week, but not just for football,” Cowherd said. “There was a piece of video yesterday that came out of Malik Willis helping a homeless man. I know what you’re saying, ‘Colin, oh that’s probably set up.’ No, it wasn’t put in. Someone across the street – opening his suitcase on a cold day in Indianapolis, handing shirts to a homeless man. Now that’s not enough to he alone wrote it, but the folks at Liberty rushed to Twitter to tell us it was a normal thing and absolutely really all that Malik Willis is.”
“Then I saw him at the Combine too. OK, that was awesome. Throwing 80 yards, ripping, big arms on the court. Listening to Rich Eisen and others freaking out. The kid is just a great athlete,” Cowherd said. continued. “You know what’s funny about football? You can have character issues in just about any position and you’ll tolerate it. Quarterback is the opposite. You can have talent limits and people will tolerate it if you have a good character. That’s important.”
“I looked at the draft order this morning, and if I was the Panthers at six, the Falcons at eight, the Broncos at nine, the Commanders at 11 and the Vikings at 12, I would sign Malik Willis. I He could start right away for some…. Malik Willis hit an absolute home run at the combine…. He’s my guy.
One team Cowherd didn’t mention was the Steelers, who are expected to pick 20th overall in the NFL Draft in April.
Of course, it’s possible the former Liberty player is already out of the picture by the time Mike Tomlin & Co. are ready to make their selection, but FOX Sports NFL analyst Rob Rang thinks Willis could be a perfect fit. Pittsburgh.
“With Ben Roethlisberger retired and general manager Kevin Colbert expected to move on, the Steelers may be barely recognizable in 2022,” wrote Rang, who selected the Steelers Willis in his latest draft sim. “If the rebuild is, in fact, coming, don’t be surprised if Pittsburgh goes all-in, especially if a quarterback with the Willis advantage is still on the board.”
Mason Rudolf and Dwayne Haskins are the only quarterbacks currently on the Steelers roster, and while it’s possible one of those two could start the season under center, it could just be a stopgap while the organization develops a young caller. like Willis.
“Willis is the most gifted quarterback in this class, but he’s also pretty raw and will require a lot of patience,” Rang added in his assessment of the former Liberty QB.
Willis spent two seasons at Auburn (2017-18) where he played just 15 games (no start) before being traded to Liberty in 2019 and sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules . In his next two seasons at Liberty, Willis started every game and led the Flames to a 17-6 overall record. He threw for 5,107 yards with 47 touchdowns and just 17 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,844 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Get more from the National Football League Follow your favorites for game insights, news and more.