NFL teams have increasingly found that drafting a running back is a risky proposition, with highly drafted runners often proving to be no better than the backs available late in the draft or as undrafted free agents. But the Steelers apparently think they need to address the position early in this year’s draft.
Pittsburgh expects to add a feature draft most likely in the first round and no later than the second round, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Steelers allowed last year’s leading rusher, James Conner, to leave in free agency. They’ve spent fourth-round picks on running backs, Anthony McFarland and Benny Snell, each of the last two years, and they signed Kalen Ballage in free agency. But they apparently want more.
Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Alabama’s Najee Harris are generally considered the best running backs in this year’s draft.
The report says the Steelers are serious about improving their running game and may also draft a run blocking offensive lineman early.