Pittsburgh Steelers pre-training camp 53-man roster prediction

Benny Snell #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Benny Snell #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Anthony McFarland Jr. (26). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Running backs (4):

Najee Harris, Benny Snell, Derek Watt (FB), Anthony McFarland

Najee Harris is the clear bell-cow back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s been talk of trying to limit his touches this year, but he’s not for it. Harris will once again carve out a vast majority of the overall touches as the position — assuming he stays healthy.

Behind him, there’s not a lot of competition. Though very unspectacular so far in his career, Benny Snell seems likely to assume the RB2 role thanks to his thick frame and ability to churn his legs between the tackles.

There’s been some controversy as to whether or not fullback Derek Watt would be replaced by the Connor Heyward draft choice. I think the Steelers find a way to make it work and appease the All-Pro brothers. I have Watt sticking around as the fullback. Perhaps he carves out a bigger role with Matt Canada running more of his own offense in 2022.

The last running back spot is tricky. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if an athletic undrafted rookie like Mateo Durrant makes the team over an unspectacular Anthony McFarland, but I have McFarland getting the nod as of now. This is a position the Steelers could look to in the waiver wire as other teams make cuts before the season starts.