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Steelers reportedly prefer Malik Willis over Kenny Pickett

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

(Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Steelers are in need of a quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger retiring after an 18-year career, so the Steelers doing their due diligence at the Senior Bowl in Mobile isn't really surprising. But Mike Tomlin mentioned frequently this past season that quarterback mobility is a must-have in today's league. That's why Malik Willis is so intriguing.

According to Thor Nystrom of NBC Sports Edge, the Steelers clearly prefer Willis over Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Nystrom also said that the Steelers' interest in Willis is for real, and compared it to how last year Najee Harris was the “worst kept secret” in regards to the Steelers eyeing up the star running back.

Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus believes Willis could be the second coming of Kordell Stewart for the Steelers. Of course, Stewart was about two decades ahead of his time when it came to mobile quarterbacks.

"We've got a guy here whose already made the Slash comparison. He's like Kordell Stewart," Palazzolo said on 93.7 The Fan.

The Steelers had a ton of representation at this week's Senior Bowl practices, as Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, Matt Canada, quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan, several Steelers scouts and even team president Art Rooney II were there.

According to Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, Tomlin, Colbert and Canada had a lengthy talk with Willis' parents after Tuesday's practice.

Tomlin, Colbert and Canada were also seen talking with Willis after Tuesday's practice via

Mark Kaboly of The Athletic.

Willis was impressive in Mobile, and most evaluators believe he had the best week out of all the quarterbacks. Even better than Pickett. With the scouting combine and pro days still on the horizon, Willis can improve his draft stock even more. That's why the Steelers might have to trade up for either Willis or Pickett if they want a quarterback in the first round.

Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports said he's been told if Kenny Pickett is available at pick 20, the Steelers will take him. Brook Pryor of ESPN also thinks Pickett should be the Steelers' top priority in the draft.

It should be an interesting next three months ...


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