Steelers Draft Study: Reasons why taking a RB early is a waste of a pick

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22). Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22). Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
5 of 5
Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris (22) Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Final thoughts

The biggest flaw when looking at this number is that it doesn’t consider anything outside of the running back. As stated above, offensive lines are arguably as important as the runner themselves. That is why Elliott hit such a rough patch this past season, as the offensive line that he dominated with was banged up all year. These stats compiled are just pure rushing stats.

As well, if the Steelers had fewer needs in the upcoming draft, taking a first-round running back would be more feasible. The Chiefs did this last year, as they had minimal needs coming off their Super Bowl victory, so adding a unique and dynamic back in Clyde Edwards-Helaire made sense. The Steelers, on the flip side, will have more needs than they will likely be able to fill. Taking a running back is a luxury now, and it’s one that the Steelers can’t afford.

Lastly, if the board falls absolutely horribly for the Steelers, it could be a possibility that a first-round runner like Harris is truly the best player available. That said, considering that there are quite a few talented defenders that could make it to 24, the board would have to be extremely depleted on both sides of the ball before the team should take a running back.

Related Story. 4 reasons Steelers should take RB Trey Sermon in the 2021 NFL Draft. light

While the Steelers need to seriously overhaul the running back group this offseason, investing a first-round pick in a running back would be a waste. The value in the group seems to be in the second and third round instead, and the team would be wise to look for their starter there. The team has too many needs to settle for a runner. The numbers point at day two for the Steelers to target their next starting running back.