Pittsburgh Steelers’ Rookie Le’Veon Bell Will be Better Than Expected

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Le’Veon Bell has been a force at the running back position throughout his entire career. The 6-foot-2, 244-pound back from Michigan State was the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and many people are wondering if he can duplicate what he did in college.

He was a bruising back that could almost do it all: run, juke and even jump over opponents. One thing that seemed to be lacking the most was breakaway speed. He could be shifty and plow through defensive players when he wanted to, but once he found the hole, it was just a matter of time before the defense caught up to him down the field.

If speed was a major issue before the NFL Combine, it was just a slight issue following the event.

Bell ran a 4.60 40-yard dash, seemingly improving on his ability to run in the open field with a solid time even though teams usually look for 4.50 and under for running backs. Being as big as he is, that is an impressive mark in the famous dash.

Another positive to take away from the combine was his time in the three-cone drill, becoming one of the top performers at the combine.

Bell is as shifty as they come and a rare specimen at the position. Surely Mike Tomlin loved him enough to pick him a bit earlier than he was projected, possibly for use as the team’s starting running back in the fall.

He has the tools and the physical makeup to be a bruiser in the NFL and possibly win offensive rookie of the year honors. If I were a betting man, I would say Bell is more than ready to carry the rushing load and turn this offense into more of a balanced attack by taking the 26th ranked rushing offense from 2012 into a top-10 rushing team.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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