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Jaylen Warren just “living the dream” as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers

The 2022 UDFA made a name for himself with nothing but hard work and dedication.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

There are some players who are easy to root for. Players who you see how hard they work, and the uphill battle they overcome to get to where they are. A real-life underdog story.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers, that would be Jaylen Warren.

Undrafted out of Oklahoma State, Warren looked to be nothing more than a camp body. A player to lighten the load off more established players like Najee Harris and Benny Snell Jr. Nonetheless, throughout every step of the process, Warren turned heads. Eventually, he capped off his rookie season as a very important part of the offense, and produced in his part-time role. His first professional season is something which he viewed as a blessing.

“It was a huge blessing,” Warren told the Steelers official website of the 2022 season. “It was a dream come true. Honestly, I guess I never viewed myself as someone who would play a huge role on an NFL team. I came in doing what I could. As time went on, they trusted me more and put me in those critical situations and I think I showed they can trust me in those situations.”

Trust was certainly something which Warren earned throughout the 2022 season. During his rookie campaign he amassed 77 carries for 379 yards, a 4.9-yard average, and one touchdown in 16 games. He added 28 receptions for 214 yards, a 7.6-yard average.

When you go back to when he found out he made the football team when roster were trimmed to 53 players, you can tell he is someone who is genuinely appreciative of his role with the team.

“Every day I come to the Steelers facility I see the Steelers logo and I am like, really. I am going to the Steelers facility,” said Warren before the start of the season. “I still get the same high from the first time I walked in here. It’s still surreal at this point.”

There are times when Warren admitted it was surreal being a member of such a storied franchise.

“It was like a dream came true,” said Warren back when he learned he made the roster. “That is what I was working for, and it finally happened. It was like a moment of silence. I was too shocked to react to anything. I called my family and said I really made it. It’s true, I made it.

“I shocked myself to be able to compete with these guys. There are great athletes all around. Being able to compete with them made me better in all aspects of the game.”

Warren didn’t just compete, he was an impact player for the Steelers. What does his role look like in 2022? That depends on the health of Harris, but he absolutely has done more than enough to prove himself worthy of seeing an increased role next year.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the 2023 offseason.