Looking at the big picture at the positional depth, worrying about what’s happening with others and attempting to do far too much can often be a detriment for young players when it comes to competing for a roster spot in the NFL.
Pittsburgh Steelers’ undrafted free agent running back Jaylen Warren out of Oklahoma State seems to know that ahead of his first training camp with the black and gold. That’s why he’s leaning into the old thought process of controlling what he can personally control when it comes to his battle to make the 53-man roster or the practice squad in the Steel City at the running back position.
There’s certainly a great opportunity ahead for Warren, as the Steelers are in desperate need of a consistent backup running back to second-year star Najee Harris. Currently, Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland and Trey Edmunds hold down the depth chart before the 2021 first-round draft pick in Harris.
That’s where Warren could come in. Along with fellow UDFA running back Mataeo Durant, Warren has a chance to not only crack the 53-man roster, but also potentially grab the backup job behind Harris. He doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself, though.
Speaking with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Chris Adamski during minicamp in mid-June, Warren stated that he’s doing everything he can to control just what he can control, and that if he does that everything else will take care of itself.
“I kind of just trust the process,” Warren told Adamski, according to original reporting from the Tribune-Review. “I do what I can, control what I can control. And at the end of the day, if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be.”
Trusting the process and focusing on what he can control has been Warren’s modus operandi throughout his collegiate career. Warren went from junior college at Snow College to Utah State, where he spent two seasons before transferring to Oklahoma State. Once in Stillwater, Warren went from the bottom of the depth chart to a team captain and the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Year award winner, leading Oklahoma State to the Big 12 title game and a win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
Now, he’s trusting the process that landed him in Pittsburgh, one that gives him a great opportunity to win a job behind Harris on the depth chart, providing some solid depth at the running back position overall. Unsurprisingly, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to grab a role.
“The thing with me is I will play whatever,” Warren said to Adamski, according to original reporting from the Tribune-Review. “Once I learn whatever skillset is needed to make them keep me, I can do it.”
Warren will have to learn the skillset needed rather quickly if he’s going to compete for a role. Based on his collegiate career, picking up the necessary skillsets for the job won’t be too difficult.