The Pittsburgh Steelers need to fill running back depth chart in draft, not free agency

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Alfred Blue
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Alfred Blue /

Reports say the Pittsburgh Steelers are considering a veteran running back this offseason. They shouldn’t be.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Pittsburgh Steelers have reached out to former Houston Texans running back, Alfred Blue. With Le’Veon Bell, James Conner and Fitzgerald Toussaint being the only backs on the roster, the team can certainly use another running back for this summer.

A veteran should not be that back.

From the first pick to the last, the 2018 NFL Draft is loaded with talent at running back. Compared to years past, this draft is head and shoulders above previous drafts with rushing talent. So, with seven picks, including two in the fifth round, Pittsburgh doesn’t need to worry about signing a free agent this spring.

All three of Still Curtain’s Steelers Mock Drafts include a running back in the middle to late rounds. Not no name backs who will struggle to make the roster. Tough, explosive, running backs who can earn reps in their first season and beyond.

Kallen Balge, Josh Adams, Kerryon Johnson, all players with more potential than Alfred Blue or any veteran running back on the market.

After filling the inside linebacker and safety position in free agency, Pittsburgh is in a position to add depth in the draft. No longer do they need to focus on finding starters, but players with major upside. Looking for a third string running back, this team can wait and still find someone worthy of the position.

Plus, whoever plays the third man in the running game, isn’t getting many reps to begin with. Le’Veon Bell is on the field almost every play. Then, James Conner is going to need more time to continue his develop.

Leaving almost no time for a third back. Just like Terrell Watson and Toussaint last season, it’s rare to see the field as a third string back in Pittsburgh. So, to bring in someone with a veteran contract isn’t worth the money.

Unless it’s a veteran minimum contract. The only way to justify Pittsburgh bringing in an experienced back is by paying him as little as possible. Then, and only then, can you accept bringing in a free agent over using the draft to fill the chart.

Next: Strackbein's Steelers Mock Draft 2.0

Outside of almost no money, though, this team can’t ignore the talent in the draft. But knowing the men behind the scenes, they aren’t.