Steelers expected to add running back in draft

The Pittsburgh Steelers are “fully expect[ed]” to draft a running back, writes Ed Bouchette of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Bouchette was asked about the Steelers’ long-term plans for running back James Conner. “I don’t think they will sign Conner to a new contract this year as he enters the final year of his rookie deal,” Bouchette replied. “He has shown he can be a good halfback but he also has not been durable.” Conner has missed nine games due to a handful of injuries over the past two seasons since taking over for Le’Veon Bell as the team’s lead back. His volume dipped from 20.8 touches per game in 2018 to 15.0 last year. His production also fell from 113.1 to 71.5 yards per game while totaling 6 fewer touchdowns. Based on Bouchette’s outlook, the Steelers may continue to go with more of a committee approach in the backfield. Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell, and Kerrith Whyte fill out the depth chart. Conner turns 25 in May.

Conner averaged 12.9 FanDuel points per game last season, finishing as the RB18 among all backs to play at least half the season. His yards per touch fell from 5.4 to 4.8 yards per game. He was 36th in yards per touch among the 59 players with at least 6.25 touches per game.