With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.
And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.
Player: Terrell Watson
Stock Value: Even
Many of the names that I have talked about in the concluding days of this series are ones that many of you are probably not very familiar with. The Francis Kallons, the Keith Kelseys. Running back Terrell Watson is another one of them, but I think he is worth discussing in the context of the running back room right now, which is in flux.
The Steelers have aspired this offseason to flip the room, moving on from DeAngelo Williams, replacing him with rookie James Conner, and hoping to find an upgrade to Fitzgerald Toussaint in Knile Davis. But Conner is a rookie who has missed most of his offseason so far, and Davis’ past work is not encouraging.
Injuries are as much a part of the running back position as it is any other, and we have seen frequently over the years for the Steelers that their third running back has had to play a role. In 2015, Toussaint started out on the practice squad—not even their first option for that, either—and ended up starting in the postseason.
So there’s no reason to dismiss somebody like Watson right now. After all, they’ll inevitably have a running back on the practice squad, possibly even two as they frequently had last season. He has a chance, even if he has gotten very little time on rosters since being undrafted in 2015.
Watson was fabulously productive at the college level at Azusa Pacific, where he broke Christian Okoye’s school records. He scored 79 touchdowns and ran for over 6000 yards. And for a back who’s 6’1”, 240 pounds, his 2.51 40-yard dash time actually isn’t too bad. Though that was a Pro Day number.
Watson is on his fifth team in three years, and the only action he has seen in the NFL was in Week 17 of the 2016 season, when the Eagles called him up from the practice squad. He carried the ball nine times for 28 yards and a touchdown.
With the Steelers’ uncertainty within the running back room right now, there is an opportunity for Watson to get noticed. Chances are good that he will be asked to assume a lot of the work, to begin with, as Cameron Stingily did a couple years ago.