There is no questioning what kind of player Le’Veon Bell is for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is dynamic as they come, and makes up one of the most versatile players in the entire NFL. If any media outlet were to rank the top running backs in the game, Bell would be at the top, or near it.
However, what about the Steelers’ entire running back corp
s? Where would their top three backs rank among the rest of the league?
This is exactly what ESPN did with an Insiders article as they ranked all NFL running back trios. For the black-and-gold, the trio consisted of Bell, James Conner and rookie Jaylen Samuels.
But first, take a look at the top 10:
1. New Orleans Saints
Top three backs: Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Terrance West
2. Los Angeles Rams
Top three backs: Todd Gurley II, John Kelly, Malcolm Brown
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
Top three backs: Le’Veon Bell, James Conner, Jaylen Samuels
Projected unit stats: 379 carries, 1,610 yards, 12 TDs; 88 receptions, 704 yards, 3 TDs
Outlook: Bell is the ultimate workhorse. Counting only the weeks he was active over the past two seasons, he was on the field for 92 percent of the Steelers’ snaps, ran a route on 85 percent of the pass plays and was responsible for 82 percent of the designed runs and 20 percent of the targets. Last season, Bell easily paced the position in carries (321), rushing yards (1,291) and receptions (85). Assuming his holdout ends prior to Week 1, Bell will be a good bet to eclipse 1,200 scrimmage yards for the fifth time in six seasons. Second-year back Conner and rookie H-back Samuels will pick up the scraps.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Top three backs: Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Ito Smith
5. Dallas Cowboys
Top three backs: Ezekiel Elliott, Tavon Austin, Rod Smith
6. Arizona Cardinals
Top three backs: David Johnson, Chase Edmonds, T.J. Logan
7. Tennessee Titans
Top three backs: Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis, Akrum Wadley
8. Cleveland Browns
Top three backs: Duke Johnson Jr., Nick Chubb, Carlos Hyde
9. Kansas City Chiefs
Top three backs: Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware, Damien Williams
10. New England Patriots
Top three backs: Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead
So, what do you think of these rankings? Do you agree with the unproven talent of Conner and Samuels being enough to catapult the Steelers’ trio the the No. 3 spot? Or do you think they should be even higher?
Let us know in the comment section below, and join the conversation!