5 free agent running backs Steelers should sign before camp

Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson #25. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson #25. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Falcons running back Ito Smith (25) Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /

Ito Smith

Frankly, this is a name that seems surprising to be on the free-agent market. Ito Smith is the prototypical backup running back. While he isn’t an elite player, he has found a decent amount of success serving as the primary backup for the Falcons over the past few years. He has decent speed and hands as demonstrated by his consistent use as a rotational player with the Falcons.

Though Snell and Ballage would both be better power options, Smith would be well suited to be a change of pace/speed back. This would more contend with McFarland since he is currently slated to take on that role. Considering the fact that Harris is a power back as well, getting a capable change of pace option on the cheap could make this backfield even more dynamic.

With Harris taking on the role of lead option, Smith would be a natural complement to his style of play. He could be counted on for 5-10 touches a game as a reserve which in turn should keep Harris fresh. While either Snell or Ballage would likely keep their role as a short-yardage option, Smith is a better all-around backup. The Steelers could use him to switch up their offense while still giving Harris the majority of carries from the backfield. Again, he isn’t an incredible talent, but he is a perfectly fine backup that is deserving of a few touches each game.