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#pounditSunday, November 27, 2022

Steelers have a preferred quarterback for the NFL Draft?

Mike Tomlin smiles during a game

The Pittsburgh Steelers will almost certainly select a quarterback during the NFL Draft, and most analysts expect them to do so in the first round. Kenny Pickett is viewed as an obvious choice given that he is a pocket passer and played at Pitt, but could the Steelers be leaning in a different direction?

According to Thor Nystrom of NBC Sports EDGE, the Steelers have a strong preference for Liberty quarterback Malik Willis over Pickett. Mike Tomlin was photographed speaking with Willis’ parents at the Senior Bowl, and the belief is that the interest is real.

Willis passed for 2,857 yards, 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in his junior season at Liberty. The reason he would be such an intriguing fit for the Steelers is that he’s a dual-threat QB. He rushed for 878 yards and scored 13 touchdowns on the ground.

If the Steelers drafted Willis, they would obviously have to make some significant changes to their offense. Roethlisberger was anything but a dual-threat QB. Ditto for Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins, who are the other two quarterbacks on Pittsburgh’s roster.

The Steelers currently have the 20th pick in the draft. The 19 teams that pick before them may ultimately decide who they take.

Photo: Nov 21, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts before the Steelers play against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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