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MIGUEL MAYSONET AND THE RUNNING BACK POSITION

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Before the 2013 NFL draft, I heard several analysts talking about this kid named Miguel Maysonet. A running back from Stony Brook College out of The Big South, who probably wouldn’t be drafted but had the talent and potential to not only make a roster but contribute. The Eagles signed Maysonet immediately after the draft by offering him a 6 figure signing bonus to keep him from signing with another team. Now it is being reported that the Eagles are planning on releasing Maysonet. Would Maysonet be a player the Steeler’s should take a shot at? At first look, the Steeler’s roster appears to be full at the running back position, but let’s take a closer look.

Jonathan Dwyer ended last season as the Steeler’s starting running back and it appeared that he would enter the 2013 season as the team’s starter. After struggling to grasp the offense for the first two years of his career, Dwyer was thrust into the starting position last year due to injuries to Rashad Mendenhall and Isaac Redman. After starting 6 games, Dwyer rushed for 623 yards and 2 touchdowns, but fumbled twice late in the season. Then after the 2013 draft, it seemed that the back fell out of favor in Pittsburgh, with it being reported that the team was trying to trade him.

What caused the team to start trying to trade their starting running back? The team used their second round draft pick on Michigan State running back Le’veon Bell. Bell fits the mold of a Steeler’s typical running back as he was a workhorse in college and shows a great deal of upside. Also, the Steeler’s signed free-agent running back LaRod Stephen-Howling to a 1 year contract. Although Howling’s started a few games for Arizona last year, he has been injury prone and primarily a back-up during his career there. Howling’s had 356 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns on 110 carries last year.

Isaac Redman filled in as the team’s starter in 2011 after Rashad Mendenhall suffered his knee injury and was expected to be the team’s number 1 back in 2012. After suffering an injury, Redman just didn’t seem like the same running back as he was in 2011. With Redman playing behind Bell in 2013 could he return to his 2011 form? The teams 5th running back, Barron Batch was drafted with a late round pick in 2011, but suffered a knee injury in the pre-season and he did not play until 2012. Batch made the team in 2012 but made a minimal impact with 49 yards and a touchdown on 25 attempts. Batch was also cut from the team during 2012 but was then signed to a future contract once the season was over. This could be the end for Batch in Pittsburgh. The Steeler’s also has Curtis McNeal on the roster, an un-drafted free-agent from USC who shows promise as he averaged at least 6 yards a carry during his 2011 and 2012 seasons.

The case for Miguel Maysonet:

Maysonet rushed for 5,110 yards on 773 attempts during his college career. That’s an average of 6.6 yards a carry. The back also showed durability by playing in every game for the Seawolves during his junior and senior years. In the past, the Steeler’s have signed un-drafted collegiate players and placed them on their practice squad and developed them until they could rely on them. Willie Parker is a great example of this. Parker was signed as an un-drafted rookie out of North Carolina, placed on the practice squad and then became the Steeler’s starting running back. More recently, the Steeler’s signed Isaac Redman, an undrafted rookie out of Bowie State and placed him on their practice squad until he was a solid back-up running back for the team.

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