The Steelers should absolutely try to bring in Malik Willis

Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis (7)
Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis (7) / George Walker IV / / USA

The Titans are seemingly out on Malik Willis after just one season, and the Steelers should be interested. After a poor rookie season where Willis was thrust into a partial starting role, Tennessee moved up in the draft to secure Will Levis. Given their history of usually carrying two quarterbacks, Willis could be traded or even cut.

Given the current state of the Steelers quarterback room, Willis is a logical target for this team to try and add. It was only a season ago that this team was all over him in the predraft process. While their top quarterback was Kenny Pickett, Willis also seemed like a favorite for this team.

Don’t write Willis off quite yet

For everyone that is talking about how badly Willis played, that shouldn’t have been surprising given the type of prospect he was. He had all of the tools you want in a quarterback. From impressive arm strength to great athleticism, he needed to develop as a pocket passer, but in time Willis looked like he could be a dynamic player.

I for one wasn’t surprised to see him struggle in his first season. Willis was a player that needed at least a season to develop before he should have seen any significant snaps. To throw him out as a bust already given his early struggles is foolish.

Any team expecting Willis to come in and play great right away was fooling themselves. His mechanics are raw and his processing is poor, but he has some rare traits that made him a compelling option at quarterback.

The Steelers are lacking quarterback depth

I can’t grasp why people are so against the idea of Willis playing for the Steelers. You aren’t bringing him in to start. Heck, you have an established and experienced backup, so Willis will likely sit as the third quarterback for the season. It isn’t a ding on any of the other names on the roster to bring in a developmental name as your third option.

The only other rostered quarterback right now is Tanner Morgan, and his best-case scenario for his career is that he becomes a middling third option for a team. Willis provides a young option that can learn and grow in his second season as opposed to trying to play when clearly he wasn’t ready for that.

Assuming he cost a late-round pick (or some value similar to that), why wouldn’t you want him? You have him under contract for three more seasons at a cheap rate, and he has the traits that you can hopefully develop. You have your established starter, Willis isn’t being brought in to compete with him, but he can still better this roster.

Unless the cost to acquire him is that high, I don’t see a reason why this team shouldn’t be interested in Willis. They liked him last year and could secure their backup quarterback position for the next few years. If he develops that time as many thought he could, he may even become a trade asset down the road.

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Even if he doesn’t, he provides you with cheap quarterback depth for a few seasons. I challenge anyone so vehemently opposed to bringing him in as to why that is the case. Outside of overpaying for him in a trade (which would be a mistake), Willis would be in a good spot to learn for a year before becoming the primary backup for the Steelers. There is no downside to such a move.