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Is Anthony McFarland Jr. the Steelers future starter at running back?

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Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

Ohio State v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Moving along to part 57 of our 90-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

Let’s take a look at Steelers rookie running back:

Anthony McFarland Jr.

Position: RB
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 193 lbs
College: Maryland
Draft: 4th Round, 124 Overall in 2020


2019 stats (NCAA)

11 Games Played
114 Rush Attempts
614 Rushing yards
8 Touchdowns
17 Receptions
126 Receiving Yards
1 Touchdown


Contract remaining

N/A — Rookie contacts have not been announced


Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. When the Steelers decided to use their fourth-round pick on McFarland, they made their intentions clear on the future of its running back position and if James Conner doesn't re-sign next offseason, McFarland will be a name to watch as a replacement. The Steelers won't cut one of their highest picks of this past draft, and at the very least the Maryland alum will get a year to mature in the system.


2020 projection

Even though McFarland won't have a regular rookie camp or training camp to get ready for this season, I think it will be easier for him to have some success when compared to the other rookies. Some running back technique transfers over seamlessly to the NFL and he could be used in this offense. I don't think any of his stats will be leading this team however, but he might make the biggest contribution out of all the rookies.


Projected stats:

60 Rush Attempts
300 Rushing yards
1 Touchdowns
8 Receptions
75 Receiving Yards
1 Touchdown


Summary

McFarland Jr. could feature as the Steelers top running back in 2021, and he might be a part of a dynamic running back rotation this season. With the rookies, however, I think all of Steelers Nation will have to practice some patience, as expecting any of them to explode with such little field time would be unfair.

The explosive nature of McFarland gives the team a dynamic option they haven't had in a few years, and could pair nicely as a change of pace type player. If everything works out, McFarland could be the Steelers runner for years to come.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson
Bud Dupree
Eric Ebron
Terrell Edmunds
Trey Edmunds
Matt Feiler
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Zach Gentry
Ulysees Gilbert III
Derwin Gray
Joe Haden
J.C. Hassenauer
Quadree Henderson
Dewayne Hendrix
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel
Christian Kuntz
Justin Layne
Leo Lewis
James Lockhart
Paxton Lynch
Dan McCullers
Vance McDonald