The Pittsburgh Steelers have frequently been linked to Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, one of the top QBs available in the 2022 NFL Draft. But in Pro Football Focus’ March 2 feature on the ‘Best NFL team fits for top 2022 NFL Draft prospects,’ PFF pairs Willis with the Denver Broncos, thanks in part to Nathaniel Hackett’s RPO-heavy offense and the presence of offensive weapons like wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton and tight end Noah Fant.

Meanwhile, PFF sees North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Sam Howell—6-foot-1 and 220 pounds—as the best fit for the Steelers and the offense that coordinator Matt Canada would like to run.

“Despite frequent comparisons to Baker Mayfield, Howell is best characterized by his mobility and short-throw accuracy. His rushing yards over expected per carry, missed forced tackles per attempt and explosive run rate all rank in the top 10 among the 88 FBS quarterbacks drafted since 2015,” offers PFF’s Conor McQuiston, before adding that “it is safe to assume he will be a viable threat on the ground at the next level.”

‘How Does Sam Howell Fit With Pittsburgh?’

“A primary concern of his as a passer is that, much like several other quarterbacks in this class, he played in an extremely RPO-heavy offense that simplified his reads. Some 39.8% of his plays in 2021 came attached with a charted RPO, the third-highest figure in the sample, and that means he will have to adjust to NFL systems,” continues McQuiston.