The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.
These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: Do the Steelers like Malik Willis enough to trade into the top 10 for him?
What we know is that the Steelers like Malik Willis. I don’t think that they can hide that at this point. We also know that the Steelers are willing to trade into the top 10 from the 20th pick for a player that they like enough, since they just did that in 2019 with Devin Bush.
What we don’t know is if Willis is a player that they like enough to make such a significant trade, especially since they can’t realistically expect to be getting any compensatory draft picks next year. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s deal is the only one that would qualify for the compensatory formula, but they’ve already signed three or four players to cancel him out. And contrary to what I may have previously written, the team won’t be eligible to get a compensatory pick for potentially losing Brian Flores unless he is here for at least two years.
Fan opinions on Willis and what he’s worth are…let’s say, mixed. What the fans think really don’t matter, though, including of course what I think, when it comes to the Steelers’ decision about whether or not to draft him, and how badly they want him.
As we get closer to the draft, it seems more and more likely that he could be the first quarterback taken in the draft, if not the second, and that the chances of him making it out of the top 10 are low. It’s possible that he is still available at 20, of course. But if the Steelers really think he’s their next 15-year starter, then they have to be prepared to pay whatever price it costs to get him.