Time will tell if the Pittsburgh Steelers will ultimately select another running back in the 2020 NFL Draft. With that obvious statement out of the way, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert doesn’t seem too terribly concerned about the team’s current situation at the running back position at the start of the annual scouting combine this week in Indianapolis, IN.
Colbert addressed the state of the Steelers running back depth chart on Tuesday during his annual scouting combine press conference.
“Benny Snell had a nice season for us as a rookie,” Colbert said of the team’s 2019 fourth-round selection out of Kentucky. “James [Conner] had an unfortunate season. And what we tried to emphasize to James was this was this year. The previous year, you were one of the best in the league and we know you’re still a young ascending player and we want you to get back to where you were in 2018.
“The injuries happened. They were acute injuries that weren’t avoidable and it happened. He has to work through it. And we’re confident in James because we know what he did in 2018, but we also are hopeful that he can find that again in 2020. But in the meantime, competition from a Benny Snell and a Jaylen Samuels should help that process.”
The ability for James Conner to stay healthy is indeed a huge concern for the Steelers moving forward. Even so, Benny Snell Jr. did have a nice rookie season in the limited playing time that he received in 2019. While Jaylen Samuels isn’t likely to be more than a role player in the Steelers backfield moving forward, there’s no reason to think he won’t make the 2020 roster as we sit here two months away from the annual NFL draft taking place.
While Colbert won’t completely tip his hand concerning the draft and if the Steelers might address the running back position at some point during it, he does seem comfortable with the depth chart as it is entering the scouting combine. He did admit, however, that this year’s running back draft class is a deep one.
The Steelers have drafted one running back in each of the last three drafts. Will they draft another one this year? If I were to bet on such a thing, I would put my money on them not doing so based on what all Colbert has said so far this offseason. Time, of course, will tell if my speculation is correct.