Prior to the start of the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers addressed the position of running back without drafting one. The Steelers and free agent running back LaRod Stephens-Howling agreed to a one-year deal earlier today.
Stephens-Howling was one of three unrestricted free-agent running backs to visit Pittsburgh this offseason. The former Arizona Cardinals player will add much-needed depth to the Steelers’ thin running back corps, help on special teams, and more importantly could possibly give the organization one less thing to worry about in the final two days of the draft.
The chance of not drafting another running back isn’t completely out the window. It’s been said that Pittsburgh is still pondering signing Ahmad Bradshaw. The Steelers met with Bradshaw twice this offseason, and had questions regarding his health.
If Pittsburgh can afford to sign Bradshaw, that would be great. It would give them more leverage in the draft at pursuing a wide receiver, a tight end, a safety, or even another pass rusher.
However, drafting a running back could be the better route. For one, it would be cheaper to sign a rookie versus a veteran going into his seventh season in the league. It would also assure that the Steelers would have some youth in their backfield for at least a few years.
Either way, the signing of Stephens-Howling is another great move that the organization has made so far during this draft process. Little by little, the Steelers are giving all of Steeler Nation something to be optimistic about for the 2013 season.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google