Happy Draftmas Eve, everyone!
Good news! Mock drafts are just about over with.
You hear that? Millions of people celebrating everywhere.
Just hold your applause for about 10 minutes though, as there’s one more mock draft to work through here, that being the final version of NFL Network’s Charles Davis. Davis, one of the more respected voices across all platforms covering football, has stayed consistent for the Steelers throughout the pre-draft process, selecting a quarterback all three times in his mock draft.
Of course, those quarterbacks have differed each time, as Davis selected Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett in version 1.0, and then grabbed Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder in version 2.0. On Wednesday, Davis again stayed at quarterback, but went with Liberty’s Malik Willis, who has been a popular commodity for the Steelers throughout the pre-draft process.
“The Steelers did as much visible work on QBs as any team in the draft,” Davis writes regarding his selection of Willis for the Steelers. “Here, they make the first selection of a signal-caller in 2022. With veteran Mitch Trubisky already in Pittsburgh and likely to be the starter in 2022, Willis will get a chance to acclimate. I could see Willis, Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson forming a really dynamic trio in the future. Kevin Colbert sets the table for the future at QB in his final draft as general manager.”
— Liberty Football (@LibertyFootball) April 26, 2022
Based off of Davis’s mock and how it plays out, the Steelers will have their choice of QB at No. 20 overall as no quarterbacks went in the top 19 picks, with Atlanta going edge rusher at No. 8, Seattle drafting cornerback at No. 9, Houston doubling down on defense at No. 13, and New Orleans drafting offensive tackle and wide receiver at No. 16 and No. 19, respectively.
Willis has been the consensus fit for the Steelers throughout the pre-draft process, rightly or wrongly, based on the work the Steelers have done on the Liberty star, from meetings and dinner at the Senior Bowl, to meetings at the NFL Scouting Combine, a large contingent at his Pro Day, and a pre-draft top 30 visit in Pittsburgh ahead of the draft.
I’ve watched every snap of Malik Willis’s 2021 season. An outstanding campaign.
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) April 22, 2022
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and it feels like there’s a fire burning brightly underneath the surface in Pittsburgh for Willis that will emerge brightly on Thursday in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.