Steelers draft: Zack Moss is worth a look for Pittsburgh at RB
The Pittsburgh Steelers finished in the bottom of the league in rushing each of the last two seasons. James Conner is good, but health is a concern and the Steelers may need to reassess their depth at the position.
The Steelers have been known for two things in the majority of their existence: a great run game and superb defense. The team got the defense down in 2020 after having poor performances on that side of the ball for much of the last decade.
The run game, however, has taken steps back the last few seasons. They have finished 20th or worse in the last three seasons and that is something that playoff teams do not do.
James Conner’s health is a serious issue for them moving forward. He is a good back when he is able to play but it is hard to ignore the games he has missed and the injuries he has amassed since taking over lead duties.
Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell are capable running backs, but the team may need to assess the room and see if they should pick another back when it comes to the draft. They don’t need to reach for one but it should be an option if it makes sense with who is available at the pick.
There is one back that I think would be a great fit in a Pittsburgh system and that is Zack Moss from Utah. He’s a runner with great power and a no-nonsense approach to the game.
Moss compiled 4,067 and 38 touchdowns in college. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry and showed some decent hands getting 685 yards on 66 catches and three more touchdowns.
Moss is a bigger back at 5’10” 220 pounds and that is what the Steelers like. He runs with power and a straight-lined approach.
He is a hard runner with a bigger build but does have some cutback ability. He lacks the big misdirection ability of other backs like Le’Veon Bell but he has enough misdirection in him to make defenders miss in the gaps.
His style limits him some in that he is a pure between the tackles power back. His strength is not his speed and he will get caught if he breaks free but he can get to the edge when necessary.
He was not asked to do a lot in terms of pass protection in college, but he has power and a solid frame to be able to pick up rushers. His balance as a runner will also help him in pass protection and picking up blitzes.
The Steelers running backs have historically been the power style that Moss possesses. He isn’t a flashy runner or a blazer but he runs hard and gets his yardage when he is called upon.
The running backs weren’t solely to blame for the Steelers rushing woes lately but it certainly helps to have backs that fit your style and Moss is a fit for the Steelers.
He is a good day two option and if the Steelers feel they should select a running back, he could be there with their second-rounder or even their third – provided they get a compensatory pick for the loss of Bell last year.
If the Steelers take him, I believe it only strengthens the room as far as running backs go. He may not play a position of immediate need, but he is absolutely worth a look if he is available.