Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell went against his fellow second round classmate last week when the Steelers took on Eddie Lacy's Green Bay Packers. Now, he's has to go against one of his Michigan State classmates.
Browns RB Edwin Baker, a seventh-round draft pick in 2012, had 64 yards and a touchdown in Cleveland's loss to the Jets last week. A loss all the same, Baker's performance was a ray of hope shining over a dismal Browns running game over the course of the 2013 season. The team dealt Trent Richardson to Indianapolis, and while Richardson has done very little in his time there, the Browns never did find a back - or at least keep one healthy - which they could lean on to help a passing attack that's also in stages of development.
Baker, Bell's Spartans teammate, rushed for 1,201 yards as a sophomore in 2010, but Bell began his reign in East Lansing after that, dropping Baker on the depth chart. What he's shown so far in Cleveland, though, could be strains of future competition between the two in the AFC North.
That's on hold for the meantime, though. Bell became the first Steelers running back since Isaac Redman 22 games ago to crack the 100-yard mark in a game, and Cleveland hasn't even had a 75-yard rusher, let alone a 100-yard rusher, in a game this season. Still, considering their youth, and Cleveland's wide open status of the position with a hefty amount of draft picks coming, another strong performance Sunday against Pittsburgh could help give him the inside track for the starting job next season.
Bell's status is likely to go unchallenged next year, but Baker could set up two more meetings between the two as each team's franchise running back.
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