Now that the 2019 season is over, with a team other than ours having been crowned champion and there being much work to do to return to that status, 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 season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
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 move forward.
Player: RB Benny Snell
Stock Value: Up
When Kevin Colbert mentions you and says that you’ve done a good job, it’s definitely a good sign. That was the case for second-year running back Benny Snell, whom they made a fourth-round selection roughly 10 months ago.
That said, Colbert also made it pretty clear that what the team needs from the running back position is the 2018 James Conner back. A Pro Bowler that year in his first season as a starter, Conner missed the majority of last season or was limited due to a variety of injuries.
The general manager said that the team has talked to Conner and told him to not let the injuries get him down, just get ready for the next season and put it behind him. But Colbert also talked about some of the other backs that they have at their disposal, including Snell.
The Kentucky product was a workhorse back during his college career, and he got the occasional taste of that here and there during his rookie season with the Steelers. He registered at least 16 carries in five different games. The Steelers did happen to got 4-1 in those games, the exception being the season finale loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Despite some early struggles, Snell finished his rookie year with 426 rushing yards on 108 carries, the most productive rookie season by a Steelers back since Le’Veon Bell in 2013, who started 13 games. He also scored two touchdowns, and caught three passes for 23 yards while showing the potential to serve as a pass protector.
Not only that, he registered 183 snaps on special teams, and that would have been over 200 snaps if he did not miss three games due to a knee injury that required a minor cleanup procedure in the middle of the season.