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Steelers meet with pair of quarterbacks at the Scouting Combine

The Pittsburgh Steelers are doing their diligence with interviewing QB prospects during the NFL Scouting Combine.

NCAA Football: Miami Beach Bowl-Central Michigan vs Tulsa Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

I think we all could agree the general consensus among Pittsburgh Steelers fans is that Ben Roethlisberger will return for the 2017 season. With that said, it doesn’t eliminate the growing concern of the end of his career being sooner than later.

With the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine underway, the Steelers are doing their due diligence with interviewing some high profile quarterback prospects.

One of the reported meetings, although their certainly could have been more, was with Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush, per Jacob Klinger of PennLive.com.

The other reported meeting, this by Jon Ledyard of InsidethePylon.com, was with Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

These quarterbacks certainly come with a certain amount of hype, and uncertainty. Mahomes is extremely unconventional, yet effective, while Cooper Rush is more of the atypical quarterback with his own deficiencies.

Take a look at their NFL Draft profile strengths and weaknesses to get a better grasp on the players as they enter the Draft process.

Cooper Rush

Strengths

Started all but three games during career and was team captain his junior and senior seasons. Defined by cerebral approach. Has bachelor of science degree in actuarial science off-the-field and masters in full-field reads on the field. Juggernaut in film room. Hits the field with well-conceived plans of attack based on his studies. Makes all the pre-snap decisions rather than looking to sideline. Quick processor able to scan and decide rapidly. Interceptions rarely the result of poor decisions. Overcomes arm deficiencies with outstanding timing and accuracy. Anticipatory thrower with feel for developing windows. Able to lead receivers on crossing routes and long balls and can throw receivers open underneath. Very good natural accuracy. Completion percentage penalized by excessive drop totals. Good pocket poise. Climbs pocket with eyes downfield when heat comes around the corners and can slide left or right before delivering accurate strikes. Has history from under center in play-action, pro-style attack and works all three levels of the field. Dump-downs are only a final option.

Weaknesses

Frumpy body with very little muscular definition. Does not look the part. Slow, plodding setup in the pocket. Throws from narrow platform and generates very little drive on his throws from lower half. Lollipop arm strength allows ball to hang in air too long. Defensive backs with twitch have time to dart into passing lane and make interceptions despite a good read by quarterback. Struggles to challenge tight windows in middle of the field. Could be limited to timing-based passing attacks. Unable to make sudden getaways from pocket due to lack of athleticism. Strong pocket push from interior short circuits his plans.

Patrick Mahomes

Strengths

Possesses NFL body type for work inside and out of the pocket. Has an undeniable swagger and confidence to his game. Accuracy has improved in each season since his freshman year. Naturally accurate in his every day throws. Comfortable challenging defenders in space. Has arm strength and fearlessness to attack the cover-2 voids down the sideline. Can make deep, field side throws. Cranks up velocity to fit passes into tight windows. Former pitcher who propels hips through his release with aggressive torque and never gets cheated on his follow-through. Can deliver strikes from a variety of arm angles. Expedites release on RPOs (run-pass option) or when pressure is mounting in pocket. Puts effort into play-action fakes. Relaxed and effective when throwing on the move. Can be a legitimate dual-threat in a boot-action offense. Improved his eye manipulation over the years and will eyeball linebackers to hold them while patterns unfold around them. Has pocket mobility to escape pressure and the poise to extend plays and find alternate targets. Hands are very strong. Can pump and reset without issues. Competes as a runner and is willing to go the extra mile for the first down.

Weaknesses

Can be inconsistent in his approach. Needs to play inside the offense and show more discipline. Too eager to go big game hunting. Ravenous appetite for the explosive play can also bring unwanted trouble. Willingness to default to playground style appears to limit his ability to get into a consistent rhythm. Needs to improve anticipatory reads and learn to take what the defense gives him. Decision making can go from good to bad in a moment's notice. Operates from a narrow base and allows his upper body and arm to race ahead of his feet. Has a dip and wind-up in his standard release. Explosive delivery and follow-through causes some throws to sail. Needs better touch on intermediate and deep balls. Carries ball a little low in the pocket. Impatient. Will leave pocket prematurely rather than standing in and winning in rhythm. Better as a scrambler than pure runner. Looked a little less mobile in the open field this season.