Could the Steelers find their lead back on day 2 or 3?

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 11: Zack Moss #2 of the Utah Utes holds the ball after scoring a touchdown during their game against the Washington State Cougars at Rice-Eccles Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 11: Zack Moss #2 of the Utah Utes holds the ball after scoring a touchdown during their game against the Washington State Cougars at Rice-Eccles Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /

Three months away from the 2020 NFL draft, a couple of options remain worthy amongst the RB class aside from the top names, for the Steelers.

Technically without their first, third, & fifth-round picks in the upcoming 2020 NFL draft (until compensatory picks are issued), the Pittsburgh Steelers are in a peculiar position due to cap & free agents.

Of course, money can be created and the prices won’t be too heavy for returns/extensions, but it makes the draft that much more important. It may not be the most glaring need, but as RB James Connor is unpredictable with injuries, the search for a lead back for the future is imminent.

The running back class was headed to be one of the deepest groups yet again until declarations happened. Headline names such as Chuba Hubbard, Travis Etienne, Najee Harris, & even Kylin Hill have announced and are returning to their rightful schools to handle their beliefs of unfinished business.

This now creates the question. Do teams reach higher now for a RB or continue to retain other positions before? Top-heavy and still without a projected “elite” (high-first round) back in this class, the depth of it will be available with some quality options that can contribute on every down.

Day 2: RB Zack Moss (Utah Utes)

Rather be good at a multitude of things, than to be great at one. An old proverb that has had a numerous amount of variations to its exactness, the Utes own RB Zack Moss possesses intangibles that should lock him in the top 5 of this RB group.

A three-year starter, Moss led a Utah offense with 1400 rushing yards & 15 touchdowns, averaging 6.0 yards per carry & 6.9 from scrimmage. Normally the best player on the field, whenever you were lucky enough to catch a PAC-12 game, Moss does nearly everything someone wants out of a player and does it well.

Although he only stands at 5’9, he’s a stout 220 lbs and it shows on camera. A powerful runner downhill, his contact balance makes it that much harder for just any defender to bring him down.

His physicality & explosiveness makes for a dangerous combo that can break defenses down throughout games, but the best part about Moss’s game still remains. His elusiveness is off the charts & has a cut-ability that is among the top tier.

“Whooo” as the commentator says, Moss can create and extend plays that leave fans wondering what just happened. And when we say the elusiveness it’s off the charts, there’s no exaggeration to it:

More than capable as a pass-blocker as well, Moss was also able to haul in 28 receptions averaging 13.9 yards per reception.

However, the biggest knock against Moss will be his injury history. It’s not for the reason being that he missed a significant amount of time at Utah, and in fact, it’s the quite opposite, but it was how he injured his right knee as a junior that was quite strange.

A freak incident, it didn’t stop Moss from having the monster season he did in 2019 and peaked his value into day 2 that should be a great selection for whoever drafts him, including the Steelers.

Day 3: RB Darius Anderson (TCU Horned Frogs)

This is where the draft gets hopeful, and when teams really search for that one trait in players and pray they can maximize that ability for a quality role on the team. Day 3 athletes typically don’t have long lives in the NFL, much less make rosters. They fill out depth & if embraced, become main contributors on special teams.

RB Darius Anderson has the potential to see the light of day two, but if he were to fall into day 3, a team would be receiving A+ value for their pick.

Comparably, Anderson is similar to Moss in the sense they are all-around talents with the ball in their hands. While Moss is a bit shiftier and stronger as a runner, Anderson provides a different gear that makes him a home-run hitter.

The main issue that drags with Anderson though, is the consistency and lack of production in his time as a Horned Frog. Never breaking the 1000 yard marker in his 4 years, Anderson only cracked 100 yards in 3 games in 2019 and only accomplished that feat once in conference play.

Perhaps, the offensive scheme of TCU and willingness to spread the ball more through the air prohibited Anderson from big numbers. And in his defense, though it wasn’t much to obtain, he was able to lead the team in rushing in two of his four years.

Next. Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin would a perfect fit for Steelers. dark

To extend the argument, this could do well for Anderson in the future. Only carrying the ball 430 times & without a significant injury, his durability is crucial for a position that relies on it the most.

His ceiling is not as high as others, but the risk is minimal with a skillset translatable to the next level. The Steelers certainly have lots of options if they choose to draft a running back in the 2nd or 3rd round of this year’s draft.