Another mock draft has the Steelers selecting Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, but this time they had to trade up to get him.
The price to get Willis in this case was massive for the Steelers. In the mock draft by Oliver Hodgkinson on Pro Football Network, Pittsburgh traded its first and second round picks in both 2022 and 2023 to the New York Giants for the right to draft Willis fifth overall.
It’s still pretty comparable to what has been used to acquire a franchise quarterback as just last season the San Francisco 49ers paid three first round picks from 2021-23 and a 2022 third round pick to the Miami Dolphins to move up from No. 12 to No. 3 to select quarterback Trey Lance.
It’s pretty clear that the Steelers are interested in selecting a quarterback in the draft whether by trading up for Willis or somehow landing Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett in the second round at pick No. 52. It’s also pretty clear that head coach Mike Tomlin prefers Willis out of this class, given that they have been aggressively pursuing him since the beginning.
What is unknown is if the Steelers are willing to take a quarterback in the first round, and that’s not even considering having to trade up to select one. They still have plenty of holes to fill including the defensive line, wide receiver and safety positions.
In this four-round mock, the Steelers got two more players with their second round pick going to the Giants. The Steelers landed safety Leon O’Neal Jr. from Texas A&M with their third-round pick and wide receiver Danny Gray from SMU with their fourth.