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Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 Exit Interviews: Jaylen Warren and Benny Snell Jr.

Depth at the running back position was not an issue in 2022.

NFL: DEC 18 Steelers at Panthers Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 NFL season has come to a close. Because the Steelers are among the 31 teams who did not finish fulfilling their ultimate goal, they are in the process of wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2023.

Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all their players, we here at BTSC thought we would do the same. By outlining two players each day, we will be able to look at their season in retrospect as well as looking toward the future. Since Coach Tomlin has previously stated he starts his interviews with rookies, first year players, and those heading into free agency, we will do the same. To start, we will pair a potential free agent with a first-year player as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.

Next up are running backs Jaylen Warren and Benny Snell Jr.

Jaylen Warren

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Position: Running back
Years with the Steelers: 1
Years in the NFL: 1
Contract Status: Signed through 2025
Contract Details: $874,000 salary cap hit for 2023. Would cost the Steelers $8,000 in dead money if released while saving $866,000.
Games played in 2022: 16 regular season
Games started in 2022: 0 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 342 (offense), 127 (special teams)
PFF score: 73.8 (29th of 63)
Notable stats: Warren had 77 rushing attempts for 379 yards and a touchdown. He also had 28 receptions on 33 targets for 214 receiving yards and was credited with one fumble.

Notes: What a find! Jaylen Warren wasn’t even the top UDFA running back by the Steelers as Mateo Durrant received a higher signing bonus when choosing the Steelers. But Warren showed himself to be the cream of the crop against all those vying for the spot behind Najee Harris on the running back depth chart. As much as I would like to see Warren improve, I’m content if he just stays the same, continues crushing players in pass protection, and continues to run the ball hard up field. It’s exciting to have such a young player on the Steelers they were able to acquire outside of using draft capital.

Benny Snell Jr.

NFL: DEC 04 Steelers at Falcons Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Position: Running back
Years with the Steelers: 4
Years in the NFL: 4
Contract Status: Free Agent
Contract Details: Contract expiring with no dead money.
Games played in 2022: 17 regular season
Games started in 2022: 0 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 42 (offense), 284 (special teams)
PFF score: 84.0 (DNQ for ranking)
Notable stats: Snell had 20 rushing attempts for 90 yards in 2022 as well as two receptions on two targets for 17 yards. Snell also had eight tackles on special teams.

Notes: Although he only saw rushing attempts in three games from Week 12 to Week 14, Benny Snell had his best season in terms of efficiency where he averaged 4.5 yards per carry and he had the highest offensive PFF grade on the Steelers in 2022. Relegated to the third option in the backfield, it was great to see Snell run well when he was given his opportunity. Otherwise, he was making plays on special teams as a key contributor. Whether or not he wants to come back to the Steelers is anyone’s guess, but the value Snell brings on special teams, as well as quality running back depth to use in case of emergency, can’t be understated. The only question is if another team will see more value in Snell than how the Steelers currently deploy him.

Make sure you check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you have missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:

Kenny Pickett & Mason Rudolph
George Pickens & Miles Boykin
DeMarvin Leal & Larry Ogunjobi
Connor Heyward & Zach Gentry
Mark Robinson & Devin Bush