Struggling to come up with support for the Steelers second round pick

Andy Lyons

What is there to say? Le'Veon Bell shredded weak competition, carried the ball a huge amount of times against weak competition and enters the NFL as a high mileage running back. He's Beanie Wells.

There's durability. Steelers second round pick, Le'Veon Bell, hauled the rock more than any other player in college football last year.

That's his most eye-popping stat, and it's a double-edged sword, at best. He carried the ball 382 times last year.

Three hundred and eighty two times. That's a lot of carries.

I can't decide whether it's humor or irony that the Steelers would select the fourth best running back on the board at least one round too early, addressing a position that doesn't have the same level of urgency as others, who seems eerily similar to former first round pick Beanie Wells.

And the Steelers visited with Wells this offseason, not offering him a contract, just letting the 27-year-old hobble away on elderly knees. We now know why; they can draft his clone in the second round.

They were the same size in college. Wells had one more year of productivity.

They both carried the ball so much in college, and the elder of the two was beaten to tar by the time he was 24, he was injured all the time and his old team didn't want him any more.

No team seems to want him.

We measure Bell's production as if it should be impressive. Should we not look at the carries he's already logged, and the general lack of plays he made? His "big" junior year, he needed no less than 29 carries to top 100 yards.

Twenty nine.

Sure, he shredded Minnesota for 266 yards on 35 carries, and a nearly duplicate performance against something called Eastern Michigan. He had 45 yards on 17 carries against Ohio State. He had 68 yards on 26 carries against Michigan. The 77 yards on 21 carries he had against Wisconsin is equally impressive.

This is a second round pick?

Montee Ball was more productive. Christine Michael is clearly more talented than Ball and Bell, maybe combined. Didn't want either of them. Didn't need 'em.

The Steelers have an entire running back stable of Le'Veon Bells. It really doesn't make sense why a grinding, high mileage back makes sense in the second round, but a team with a sterling track record of second round picks shouldn't be questioned.


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