Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is underway, and the roster heading into the offseason is close to finalized—though always fluid—it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past few months.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we head toward training camp.
Player: RB Benny Snell, Jr.
Stock Value: Up
I have yet to read or hear anything negative about Steelers rookie running back Benny Snell, Jr., the team’s fourth-round draft pick added to the roster in April. He has proven to be an extroverted and gregarious personality so far, but not in such a way that would, to most people, come across as excessively arrogant.
The team hasn’t really done anything too intense in terms of running back skills yet. The OTAs are going to be limited based on the amount of contact that is allowed. But at the very least, he seems to have approached everything with a positive attitude.
Every interview he has given just oozes with his passion for the game. There probably aren’t many people in the NFL who enjoy practice more than he does, at least for now. We’ll see how much he enjoys his first training camp experience and backs-on-backers drill, but it seems like he might actually love it.
The most important thing is that he approaches everything with a healthy attitude. He embraces every opportunity presented to him to get better, absorbing every bit of advice that is given to him by his teammates, even those on the defensive side of the ball. He knows how much he has to learn, and is making sure to take steps to learn it all in the proper time.
While he is playing the student, however, he is also keeping focus on his long-term and short-term goals. Most immediately, he is endeavoring to get himself on the field as soon as possible, contributing to the team, which is part of what is driving him to take all the advice he can get to improve as quickly as possible on an accelerated timeline.
The Steelers haven’t liked to use a stable of backs in recent years, but if Snell plays in such a way that dictates that the team play him, it will be hard for them not to.