Friday, April 4, 2014
RB an option for Steelers later in draft
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers hosted Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk for a visit earlier this week, and while that position isn’t a pressing need they figure to address it later in the draft.
The Steelers should be able to find a back who can help them and complement Le’Veon Bell and newly signed LeGarrette Blount given how much the value of that position has slipped.
The first running back in the 2013 draft wasn’t taken until the second round -- the Bengals started a run on them when they selected North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard -- and players at that position could be pushed down even further in this year’s draft.
“Every year there’s third- to sixth-round running backs that are outstanding backs and this year [that is the case] more than any other because there’s not many teams now that really need a running back,” ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. “There’s three to five [teams] maybe that could take one within the first four rounds.”
That prediction bodes well for the Steelers, who are unlikely to take a running back before the fifth round given the other holes they have to fill with their first four picks.
The Steelers are likely to target a speedy, shifty player at the position since they have a pair of big backs in Bell and Blount.
One back whom Kiper really likes is Kent State’s Dri Archer, though he could be gone before the Steelers draft a running back.
Archer ran the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.26 seconds) at the NFL scouting combine and Kiper ranks the 5-foot-8, 173-pounder as the fourth-best running back in the draft despite questions about his size.
Archer had 854 rushing and receiving yards combined last season for Kent State and scored 11 touchdowns, and his speed and versatility would allow the team that drafts the scatback to create mismatches for him.
“Dri Archer could be Darren Sproles in the third round,” Kiper said.