4 reasons Steelers should address RB in the NFL Draft instead of free agency

Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (28). Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /

Weak free agent group

One of the biggest reasons why the Steelers should pass on signing a free agent running back this year is because the group of guys set to hit the market is very underwhelming. In recent years, there have been much more prominent players to test their luck in free agency, but there are only a handful of guys I would dream of as mid-level NFL running backs who may not be returning to their former teams.

Among these players are Leonard Fournette, Todd Gurley, Mark Ingram, James White, Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Mike Davis – a few of which may return to their current teams. Even if Pittsburgh had their pick of the group, there aren’t a lot of players to get excited about. Todd Gurley and Mark Ingram are pretty washed up at this point while Matt Breida and Mike Davis, like James Conner, were likely a product of opportunity.

Fournette is the best name on this list, but he is projected to earn upwards of $8 million per season on the open market, according to Spotrac.com – and even he wasn’t impressive until late in the season and the playoffs.

There is a saying in free agency that ‘you pay great money for good talent.’ That’s exactly what the Steelers would be doing if they elected to purchase the services of one of these unspectacular running backs. They are much better off finding one in the draft.