Would Steelers draft Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett?

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The Steelers had their pre-draft press conferences on Monday. As expected, they didn’t tip their hand regarding the quarterback they’d draft at No. 20 — if any.

Different opinions have been making the rounds regarding whether the Steelers would take Malik Willis of Liberty or Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, if both are available. Peter King’s mock draft has the Steelers taking Pickett — and Willis plunging out of round one. Simms has Pittsburgh taking Willis. The PointsBet draft odds continue to have Willis as the favorite to be the first quarterback taken in the draft.

So who would it be, if both are there at No. 20? Coach Mike Tomlin wants an “ultimate competitor.” In the ultimate offseason NFL competition, it won’t be a surprise if someone tries to cut the line before the Steelers can get either guy. Or maybe one or both will be taken by one of the teams already selecting ahead of the Steelers.

The Steelers are surely aware of the stakes. They went 20 years between franchise quarterbacks after Terry Bradshaw retired. Now, maybe they’ll jump on another potential franchise quarterback in the first draft after Ben Roethlisberger called it a career.

Here’s one thing to not rule out — the Steelers literally jumping the line. They did it in 2003 for safety Troy Polamalu, in 2006 for receiver Santonio Holmes, and in 2019 for linebacker Devin Bush. If there’s a player they really like and if they think he won’t be there, they’ll go get him.

With plenty of teams looking to trade down, and if the Steelers truly believe in Pickett or Willis, why wait to see if he’ll fall to No. 20? If whoever they want works out, no one will remember whatever they gave up to go get him. If there’s any doubt that they’ll be leapfrogged, they should just go get him.

24 responses to “Would Steelers draft Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett?

  1. But the Steelers also need more than just a QB, so don’t just throw away picks to move up, if you really think your guy will still be there at 20. Never a certain thing, of course.

  2. Why would anyone draft a quarterback who played his college ball at Liberty? What kind of stellar competition did they play, the Little Sisters of the Poor?

  3. They make a deal; another team trades for Mayfield and then flips him to the Steelers. Hard not to say Baker isn’t a guy who gives it everything he’s got.

  4. The answer should be C – None of the above. IMO none of the potential 1st rounders are franchise QBs. It just happens to be a weak QB class, and any team picking one of these guys early will be making a big mistake.

  5. There are a number of highly drafted QBs sitting and collecting dust simply because they are not that good. The Steelers have Trubisky. He’s actually good if the Steelers OL can block. The Steelers need OL and WR help. Either helps the team. Another QB does not.

  6. Pickett and Willis are the 3rd and 4th best QBs in the draft. Willis has a cannon, but couldn’t hit the side of a barn with it from 15 years out.

  7. Tomlin took Haskins under his wing even though his pedigre said he wasnt that good. I say he takes the black Qb and molds him. Pickett comes with issues of fumbles.

  8. In my nightly prayers for the past month I’ve asked for world peace, good health and for BOTH Willis and Pickett to be gone by 20. Trubisky came out with a much better draft grade than either just four years ago, and has NFL starting experience (admittedly with mixed success) on top of it. The Steelers have so many other needs that I just don’t get why they would waste a first-round pick on such clearly developmental QB prospects. Improve the offensive and defensive lines, commit to running the football and let the Trubisky experiment play out.

  9. I’d definitely give Mason Rudolph an opportunity. He might be better than every QB in this draft. You’ll never know unless you let him have a chance. Josh Allen was still being called a bust by a lot of NFL people, and that was well into his 3rd season. Well after 30 starts. Of course, he would have been cut if he wasn’t a high draft pick, but that’s my point. Mason Rudolph can play in the league.

  10. Steelers need to address WR and DB in first two or three rounds. Forget the mediocre QBs. No brainer!

  11. They will pick the best player available. This year that is not a quarterback.

  12. Even if Pickett or Willis (if even available),is drafted by Pitt Trubisky will be the starter and the QB that is drafted would sit for a year.

  13. Willis played at a junior college-type program and will be RGIII 2.0. Pickett will be in Kirk Cousins mediocrity-land maybe – for a boatload of $,someday. Let Trubisky have a shot and take a lineman, WR, or CB.

  14. If they draft any of these qbs in the first round it will be a wasted pick. I know Tomlin is in awe of Willis’s mobility but the kid put up mediocre stats vs inferior competition. Willis passing ability is weaker then Lamar Jackson’s was coming from Louisville. I know Colbert made the statement that he wanted to leave the steelers by finding the next franchise qb but he should check himself and realize that player isn’t in this draft and no reason to waste our 1st on one of them out of desperation. We would be better served using the pick on a wr,cb,safety,or olineman.Give Tribisky this season and see how he does then in next years draft if Tribisky has a bad season we will have a better pick then number 20 to pick a qb with in a draft with better talent this year.

  15. I hope we do not draft a QB this year, but hear is how I see this class if we do. I know I will not be agreed with. Everyone has an opinion.

    1. Matt Corral – It will take 2-3 years but COULD be good to great….could (The only one I will accept in the first)

    2. Kenny Pickett – Very safe – An Alex Smith type. Would never draft him if I want the next Ben!

    3. Carson Strong – If it were not for the injury issues he could be something. Worthy of a second.

    4. Sam Howell – Probably a solid backup. Not worth it.
    5. Malik Willis – Raw Vick or Jackson type. Not worth it!
    6. Desmond Ridder – BUST!!!!!! Really look at him.

  16. Steeler Nation is having a collective heart attack over whether or not they take a QB with this pick. I think there’s a flawed assumption that not drafting a QB is the safe pick. When you’re sitting there at number 20 and you’re drafting a DB, you could very well end up with the next Artie Burns. Willis has a lot of upside and they seem to be very intrigued. I wouldn’t personally take him with the pick but even if he doesn’t turn into a franchise QB, I don’t think the results are catastrophic. It’s just a mid-late first round pick.

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