5 Steelers just one step away from locking up a roster spot

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Pittsburgh Steelers, Steelers / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports
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Steelers may finally have something with Anthony McFarland

When the Steelers invested a fourth-round pick in Anthony McFarland, the hope was that he would become an explosive change-of-pace option for this offense. While he never handled a full workload in school, his speed was his calling card. While there have been flashes, McFarland has been a lackluster offensive option so far in his career.

Heading into training camp this year, it looked very likely that McFarland would finally lose his spot on the team after spending most of last year on the practice squad. Once camp began though, the team was constantly feeding McFarland as the third back and has even used him often on two-back plays.

There hasn’t been a running back that has been even remotely close to challenging McFarland for his spot yet, and while someone could emerge, McFarland seems locked into that role as of now. All of this even though he can’t play special teams.

The lone option that could ultimately cost McFarland his roster spot is Connor Heyward. Heyward is being used everywhere on offense right now, from a traditional tight end to a hybrid fullback, and now even in the backfield. The Steelers could potentially only keep two true running backs and use Heyward as the third back.

Ultimately, despite the versatility of Heyward, I feel like another good preseason game will lock McFarland into the third running back role. While he may not always dress on Sunday, he would provide a better long-term replacement if either of the starters went down. He has proven himself to finally be a decent fit in this offense and I expect him to lock up a roster spot soon.

5 Steelers at risk of losing their roster spots from last year. 5 Steelers at risk of losing their roster spots from last year. dark. Next

These five Steelers entered camps at various different spots on the team, but as of this writing, all of them seem like they are close to locking up a roster spot. A few more good practices or a solid showing this weekend and each of these options should have their roster spots secured.