Rapoport: Expect Kenny Pickett to be on the Steelers’ radar

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With the Steelers season now over, who’s ready for months of QB speculation?

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport started the rumormongering Monday morning, suggesting Pittsburgh standout and Heisman finalist Kenny Pickett will be on the Steelers’ radar before the NFL Draft.

“Kenny Pickett's a name to watch,” Rapoport said on Good Morning Football. “He goes to Pitt, they share a facility with the Steelers, they've done a lot of homework on him, it's easy to have those conversations, they've seen him in person. Not saying that's gonna be the guy, but there's a lot to like between those two parties.”

While Ben Roethlisberger hasn’t formally announced his retirement, he’s strongly indicated this was his final season. His farewell tour commenced Sunday with a 42-21 rout in the Wild Card Round.

It’s long been believed that Mike Tomlin would prefer to replace Roethlisberger with a veteran, such as Russell Wilson or — gulp — Aaron Rodgers. It’s fair to say either quarterback would represent the biggest acquisition in franchise history.

But the local ties between Pickett and the Steelers are difficult to ignore. He’s the best quarterback in his class, as he led the Panthers to an ACC title while totaling 4,319 passing yards, 42 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions in 13 games.

The Steelers are drafting at No. 20 overall. Pickett, obviously, is expected to go in the first round.