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.
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 193 lbs
Draft: 4th Round, 124 Overall in 2020
2019 stats (NCAA)
11 Games Played
114 Rush Attempts
614 Rushing yards
126 Receiving Yards
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.
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.
60 Rush Attempts
300 Rushing yards
75 Receiving Yards
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.
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Ulysees Gilbert III