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3 Late-Round Running Backs the Steelers Should Target in the 2021 NFL Draft

Devon Platana
3 Late-Round Running Backs the Steelers Should Target in the 2021 NFL Draft
3 Late-Round Running Backs the Steelers Should Target in the 2021 NFL Draft / Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

It's not much of a secret that the Pittsburgh Steelers rushing attacking was extremely disappointing in the 2020 NFL Season. The team averaged 82.5 rushing yards per game, which was dead last in the league. With that being said, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Steelers select a running back at some point in the draft.

Even with James Conner unlikely to return in free agency, this pass-first offense doesn't necessarily need to invest premium draft capital at the position.

Whether they miss out on Najee Harris or other top backs in the draft, here are three running back prospects the Steelers could select in later rounds.

1. Trey Sermon, RB, Ohio State

Trey Sermon, Joseph Charleston
Trey Sermon in the CFP Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl against Clemson. / Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Trey Sermon could be a valuable pick for the Steelers in either the third or fourth round of the draft. While he only suited up in eight games last season, Sermon had 870 yards and 4 touchdowns. Reports have indicated that Sermon has already met with the Steelers, which usually indicates that the team is interested in him. Sermon may not be one of the top running back prospects this year, but his talent and potential make him a suitable successor for Conner.

2. Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

Chuba Hubbard
Chuba Hubbard against Kansas State. / Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Chuba Hubbard has something that could help the Steelers a lot: speed. The Oklahoma State running back ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at his pro day on April 1. Hubbard only played in seven games last season because of a high ankle sprain. However, he's been impressive in his time at Oklahoma State, racking up 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2019. Hubbard also has the ability to catch passes, as proven by his 53 receptions, 479 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns in three seasons.

3. Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana

Elijah Mitchell
Elijah Mitchell at the Reese's Senior Bowl. / Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Elijah Mitchell is the type of running back prospect that could benefit the Steelers because he's shown the ability to get better in each of his college seasons. He's also shown that he can catch the ball too, which would add diversity to the Steelers backfield if they use him as a change-of-pace option. Taking his rushing and receiving stats into consideration, Mitchell had 3,864 total yards and 46 touchdowns in 42 regular-season games with Louisiana. Mitchell is expected to be a Day 3 pick, but his versatility could make him a valuable complement to Benny Snell.

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