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
We did already talk about him once, but with training camp just around the corner, I wanted to weigh in on rookie running back Benny Snell, Jr. one more time before it all gets underway. The fourth-round pick is a player who was clearly valued by the team, both for his on- and off-field attributes, and both have been apparent so far since the draft.
That doesn’t mean that he’s going to definitely have a meaningful role in the offense this year. It doesn’t mean that he won’t, either, but at least right now he’s clearly the number three player on the depth chart behind James Conner and Jaylen Samuels before he has had the chance to show anything.
But I think training camp is the time that he will be able to show all of that. He is one of those players who comes from a football background, so he does know ‘what it takes’, so to speak, as previous rookies have. His father played in the original XFL, and he is the great nephew of Matt Snell.
I mention that not because it’s an achievement in and of itself but because I felt that it was made apparent in the way that he spoke about how he would approach the downtime between minicamp and training camp and how he would prepare himself. It sounded like someone who’s been well-advised.
And from all appearances, including a recent workout with Roosevelt Nix, I have the impression that he has prepared himself quite well to make as bit an impact as he can once the ball gets rolling in Latrobe. For a back like himself, especially when the pads come on.
He still has a lot to show, by all means, especially relative to his being a complete back. He didn’t catch a lot of passes or do a lot of pass protection in college, so the Steelers are going to be testing him pretty heavily. Expect him to get three or four reps in a row at some point in the backs on backers drill.