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Bob Labriola: "The Steelers need a difference-making feature running back in 2021"


The Pittsburgh Steelers will be drafting in a little under 4 weeks. It is a very important draft for their organization. The Steelers were decimated during the 2021 offseason as they lost key players due to their cap issues and in all honesty, those cap issues were no one's fault but the Steelers. So now they need to go into the 2021 NFL draft and make up for it in a big way. One way is to get a premier running back.


That is exactly what Bob Labriola said in his recent Asked and Answered April 6th edition on Steelers.com. Labriola was asked what happened to James Conner? He was a Pro Bowl running back and if given a better offensive line and different scheme, couldn't Conner be a valuable back? It is a fair question because the Steeler's offensive line was awful with the run in 2021, but James Conner and the rest of the Steeler's running backs were just as bad.


Here is Bob Labriola's full answer on the question of James Conner: "James Conner was a Pro Bowl running back in 2018, but in the NFL that's a lifetime ago, and since then he hasn't been able to repeat that kind of performance or build upon it. The Steelers need a difference-making feature back, and the best way for them to add one is to draft one. The idea behind this is to address a team weakness, and finishing last in the league in rushing in 2020 screams that the running game is a major weakness. So, the Steelers need to improve their offensive line, get a big-time back to run behind it, and emphasize that aspect of their offense. Too many fans, in my opinion, believe the goal is to find a way to make Conner successful when the real goal is to make the running attack a weapon capable of complementing a contending team."


Labriola is spot on with his answer. The Steelers need to take one of the three premier running backs in the 2021 NFL draft. They have no choice but to take either Najee Harris, Travis Etienne, or Javonte Williams. There is no way around it anymore. Art Rooney II says he doesn't want to ever see the Steelers finish last in the rushing game ever again and he would like to see the Steelers get back to their ways of running the ball physically.


The best way to fix your running game is to get a premier running back. If Najee Harris is there for the Steelers with the No. 24 pick they need to take him. Fix the offensive line in the later rounds and that will get the Steelers back on the right path in regards to their running game.