Ranking the 6 best rookie QBs for Steelers before the NFL Combine

Sam Howell #7 of the North Carolina Tar Heels. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Sam Howell #7 of the North Carolina Tar Heels. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Desmond Ridder #9 of the Cincinnati Bearcats (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Steelers 5th best QB fit

I toyed where to put these next too, as I essentially have them ranked almost identically despite being vastly different quarterbacks. Ultimately, Desmond Ridder takes the second to last spot due to his inconsistencies against top competition and question marks about his throwing ability long-term. He will need an offense built around an elite running game to truly get the most out of him.

The positives of Ridder are numerous. He has the arm strength and accuracy to make most of the passes needed at a pro-level and he can take off and run in a pinch. That said, his processing and ball placement need a lot of work.

While throwing some errant passes can be looked over in the college game, he won’t be so lucky in the pros. Add in his disappointing playoff game against Alabama and may are questioning if he can actually start against an NFL defense.

What Ridder will need is time and an offense that doesn’t require great quarterback play to win. The Titans instantly come to mind as a potential fit, as Ridder could be a better version of Ryan Tannehill if all goes well. That said, it would be hard for the Steelers to draft and attempt to develop him. I think he can start eventually, but I don’t see his playstyle as a good fit in Pittsburgh.