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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Javonte Williams #25 of the North Carolina Tar Heels. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Potential upside

In addition to all of the reasons previously mentioned, drafting a rookie would give the Steelers a player with upside and a chance to become better than nearly anyone that would be available to them in the free-agent pool. Though this would probably require Pittsburgh to spend at least a day-two draft choice to ensure that they are getting an improvement at the position, there are going to be a handful of options available to them.

Players like Travis Etienne, Najee Harris, Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, and Kenneth Gainwell could all prove to be better than nearly any free agent running back money could buy right now (and believe me, money is certainly in short supply). However, the Steelers also get much more upside in going with a cheaper, younger player.

As they have done in the past with a player like Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh could choose to use their new toy until the wheels fall off. Nobody is going to argue that Bell wasn’t a good pick – even though he never made it to a second contact. Taking a running back in the first three rounds could give them a player with more upside than nearly everyone in free agency.

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At the end of the day, it just doesn’t seem like adding a running back in free agency is the way to go – especially considering all of the factors for the Steelers this year. They will be much better off filling this need in the NFL Draft this April.