The Pittsburgh Steelers just signed Jeremy McNichols. With all the competition in the RB room, what should we expect from him?
The Pittsburgh Steelers made headlines on July 26th for more than just showing up to training camp. They announced that they had signed NFL journeyman, Jeremy McNichols. McNichols, a 5th-round selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back in 2017, has already played for four different teams in his five NFL seasons.
However, most of McNichols’ production came during his last two seasons on the Tennesse Titans. As a Titan, McNichols carried the ball 88 times for 364 yards and a TD. He also caught 40 passes for 295 yards and another score.
Obviously, NFL superstar Derrick Henry took the heavy majority of the Titans workload, but that didn’t stop McNichols from making an impact. In 2022, I can see McNichols in a very similar role in Pittsburgh.
Current Steelers workhorse, Najee Harris, took on a Derrick Henry-type workload in his rookie season. Harris played 84 percent of all offensive snaps in 2022, and also raked in the most total touches in the NFL with 381.
Where will McNichols fit on the Steelers?
In 2022, I’d imagine that the Steelers would like to take some of that workload off of Harris, to prevent injury and increase longevity. This is where McNichols comes in.
In the running game, I believe both Benny Snell and McNichols will see an equal number of carries in the relief of Harris. However, where McNichols is really going to make his money is in the receiving game.
It’s going to be easy for McNichols to establish himself in the receiving game for Pittsburgh, mainly due to the lack of receiving production behind Najee Harris. Snell is the only other RB who recorded over 30 touches last season, and only 2 of those came in the air for a total of 13 yards.
So, I see McNichols making a name for himself as a rotational 3rd down back and receiving threat. With McNichols also having experience returning kicks and playing special teams, I see him as a lock to make it past final roster cuts.
I think McNichols will slide into that RB2-3 spot the second he inks his deal. Behind the trio of Harris, Snell, and McNichols, the Steelers also have Anthony McFarland, Mateo Durant, and Jaylen Warren.
It would take a fantastic preseason for any of McFarland, Durant, or Warren to pass McNichols on the depth chart. Durant would be the only player I would keep an eye on, mainly because he signed the franchise’s largest UDFA contract for a running back this offseason.
We will have to wait and see what type of role McNichols is given, but with all the different roles he has had to play over the years, it’s safe to say he will make an impact somewhere in Pittsburgh.