clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Can Anthony McFarland Jr. be a legitimate Number 2 running back?

Day 19 of the Steelers Trifecta! Featuring Arthur Maulet, Ray Ray McCloud, and Anthony McFarland Jr.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Welcome to the Steelers Trifecta! Over the 30 days leading up to the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 training camp, we will be highlighting three players every day in order cover the entire 90-man offseason roster. So without further ado, here are today’s three players:


Arthur Maulet

NFL: New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Corner/Safety
Age: 27
Year: 5
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 190
Drafted: UDFA 2017 (Saints)
College: Memphis
Roster Outlook: Likely
Analysis:

Arthur Maulet will be in the thick of the Pittsburgh Steelers nickel corner and backup safety race. He did some good things on a bad Jets defense and is a candidate to break out to a certain degree. His veteran NFL experience will do him well in a corner back depth chart that has been flooded with undrafted players and rookies. He won't set the NFL world on fire but I do anticipate Maulet to leave his stamp on this defense and contribute on special teams.


Ray-Ray McCloud

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Receiver/Returner
Age: 24
Year: 4
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 190
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 187, 2018 (Bills)
College: Memphis
Roster Outlook: Likely
Analysis:

The 2020 season was a bit of a coming out party for Ray-Ray McCloud. He made some nice plays as the Steelers number five receiver —a role he will maintain in 2021. But McCloud left his true impact as a returner. The Steelers haven't had a kick return guy with field flipping potential in a very long time. With his abilities I expect McCloud to finally reach the end zone in 2021, a feat he somehow didn't accomplish last year despite a half dozen circumstances he appeared to be on his way. Also look for McCloud to be a factor in Matt Canada’s jet sweep game as he can utilize his speed and open field running to his advantage.


Anthony McFarland Jr.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Position: Running back
Age: 23
Year: 2
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 193
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 124, 2020
College: Maryland
Roster Outlook: Likely
Analysis:

Anthony McFarland Jr. is a name to watch throughout training camp and the preseason. His speed game would be the perfect complimentary piece to Najee Harris bruising rushing style and McFarland should be given every opportunity to be the Steelers number two back because of it. Much like Ray-Ray McCloud, McFarlands speed can be utilized in Matt Canada’s motion heavy offense and given the two worked together at Maryland I expect McFarland to take a step forward in his development.


Be sure to check back everyday for anther ‘trifecta’ of Steelers, and as we go along click back on previous articles listed below so you don’t miss a thing.