Pittsburgh Looking to Pick an RB Early in the Draft

Jan 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) passes against the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Browns won 48-37. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As Big Ben has aged, the Steelers have not done a great job of supporting him with a running game. Particularly in 2020, the Steelers ranked dead last in rushing, averaging a mere 84 yards per game as a team. Compare that to a team like the Colts and Saints, who gave their older QBs 126 and 142 yards of run support per game, and it becomes very clear that this is an issue that Pittsburgh needs to address.

Well, it now appears that they intend to do so early on in the draft, which is somehow less than two weeks away. Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and their reporter Gerry Dulac, the Steelers intend to find a dynamic running back “most likely in the first round, no later than the second”. It also seems that the move to allow James Conner, who after a breakout 2018 season has rushed for just 1185 yards in the past two seasons combined, to leave for Arizona was completely intentional. The plan all along has been to upgrade in this draft class.

There certainly a few running backs here that could help Pittsburgh. Najee Harris, Travis Etienne, and Javonte Williams are just a few names that they could target. However, this begs the question: is a running back worth taking in the first round? This humble writer believes so, especially in Pittsburgh’s situation. They have a great defense, which will arguably be the best in the NFL once again in 2021. Their receiving core is set, and they are committed to Big Ben for at least one more year. The Steelers do not have a ton of needs, but this need at running back is glaringly obvious. If they can get one of the top RBs in the draft, they should absolutely do so.