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2022 Pre-Training Camp Roster Review: Running Back

The last time that we took a look back at the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster in review, it was weeks before the 2022 NFL Draft took place. It would be safe to say that quite a bit has changed since then. The changes apply to almost every position on the roster. Some are major changes and some minor, though some have remained largely static.

We are closing in on the opening of the Steelers’ several weeks of training camp. This year, it’s back at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. It would be a good time to pause and take stock of where the team stands at each position as we head into the most critical process of the offseason.

Position: Running Back

Total Positional Figure: 5
Additions: 2
Deletions: 0

Players Retained:

Najee Harris: There isn’t much to say about the top of the depth chart here. Najee Harris is the proven, established starter and there is nobody else. Now, that’s not to say that he doesn’t still have a way to go himself. He’s coming off of a strong rookie season, but there is more meat on the bone for him.

Benny Snell: Now going into his fourth season, Snell is coming off of his least productive year, and the Steelers are searching for a number two back. They have expressed some confidence in Snell for that role, but don’t be surprised if they add some veteran competition sooner or later.

Anthony McFarland: Thus far, the strongest case we can make for Anthony McFarland and his continued employability is that his offensive coordinator likes him. The third-year back spent most of the 2021 season injured, and then mostly inactive when he did return. While he theoretically offers change-of-pace speed out of the backfield, we haven’t seen it in-game yet. He is the default number three back for now, but that could change.

Players Added: 

Mataeo Durant: One of two running backs the Steelers signed following the 2022 NFL Draft as college free agents, Durant comes out of Duke, and offers decent measurables. He was a dual threat at the previous level.

Jaylen Warren: The Oklahoma St. product, like Durant, was signed after the draft as a college free agent, and will be looking to compete for a spot on the 53-man roster. He seems to view himself as something of a power back despite the size that would typically indicate that skill set, suggesting that perhaps a change of approach would be required at the NFL level.

Players Lost: N/A

Notes and Camp Outlook:

As stated at the top, there’s not much to say at the top of the depth chart. Najee Harris is the top. The only question is how much of the top he occupies, and how high he can go. As far as the rest of the group goes, the biggest conversation is perhaps whether or not some running back not currently on the team will make the 53-man roster.

Benny Snell still has a lot to prove after three seasons in the league. Anthony McFarland has just about everything to prove. Can they find a keeper in one of their two rookie free agents? The Steelers almost always add a veteran during free agency. Running back would be near the top of the list of potential positions they might address.

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