The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t do a whole lot this offseason in terms of making big-time moves, but one move in particular could have a large impact on the team’s future. With their second round pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the Steelers drafted former Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell.
Over the past couple of years, the Steelers’ running game has been all over the place. It looked promising when Rashard Mendenhall was healthy, but after the last two years that has been a big question with him and he’s no longer on the roster. During times of need, Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman have done a decent job, but nothing spectacular.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger figures to have plenty of pressure on him this year as they lost out on their big time free agent wide receiver Mike Wallace, and haven’t done much to replace the kind of talent he was.
This is where Bell can come in and surprise some people. Going into training camp, Bell will be the number one back on the depth chart and have his chance right away to prove his worth to the offense.
Being a big, bruising back but also having the footwork to burst through his cutbacks give him a ton of versatility. He’s a downhill runner that possesses a 240 pound frame and at 6’1” will be a tough matchup for linebackers to handle.
Though he is a bigger back, Bell has shown the ability to even leap over defenders as they dive in attempt to make a tackle. He has a lot of strengths that will come into play. One of the biggest strengths will be his ability to catch a screen pass and act as an option when Roethlisberger’s targets aren’t finding an opening.
In his first professional camp, Bell will have a lot on his plate in learning the offense and being counted on as the main guy in the offense. He has the talent to be a solid back in the NFL and will be a lot of fun to watch throughout camp as he adjusts to the professional level.