It feels like Tuesday is an official mock draft day for the mainstream media now that the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine has concluded. You can now add USA Today into the mock mix on this Tuesday and their post combine offering from Nate Davis includes the Pittsburgh Steelers trading up from 20th overall to select Liberty quarterback Malik Willis.
If you’re scoring at home, Davis has the Steelers trading with the New York Giants to go from 20th overall in the first round to 7th overall to select Willis. Below is his tidbit on the move up and the selection.
“Follow along now – this pick originally belonged to the Chicago Bears but went to the Giants last year in the draft night maneuver for QB Justin Fields. In this scenario, it changes hands again as two of the NFL’s blueblood franchises strike a deal, outgoing Steelers GM Kevin Colbert ensuring he leaves behind a potential franchise quarterback in the wake of Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement. Willis, who has an eye-popping arm, is the type of dual-threat passer coach Mike Tomlin has signaled a desire for and has provided ample evidence – including the viral video where he helped a woman on the streets in Indianapolis – that he’s the kind of player you want as the face of a franchise. And with Mason Rudolph still available as a bridge quarterback if Willis needs extra seasoning, this move could make all types of sense – especially since he seems unlikely to be available if Colbert stands pat at No. 20.”
So, how much would the Steelers need to give the Giants to move up to seventh overall? Well, looking back a few years ago when the Steelers traded up to the 10th overall spot from 20th overall to select inside linebacker Devin Bush, it cost them their 2019 first and second selections in addition to their 2020 third-round pick. Going up three more spots to 7th overall might just cost the Steelers their 2023 first round election, in addition to their first and second round draft picks this year. In the end, nobody knows for sure what it would take for the Steelers move up to 7th and Davis sure did not seek to take a stab at it.
Is it possible that the Steelers trade up to draft Willis? I think so and especially if they deem him as being their top quarterback in this year’s draft class. Will the Steelers probably need to go up that high to get Willis? It’s possible and especially on the heels of the Seattle Seahawks now sitting at ninth overall and needing a new franchise quarterback after trading away veteran Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos on Tuesday.
To close this post out, I think we are going to continue to see more and more major media mock drafts that include the Steelers moving up in the first round to draft Willis, who they seem to have been linked to the most so far this offseason and especially since the Senior Bowl wrapped up in early February.