After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected seven players in the 2023 NFL draft, they continued adding to the roster by coming to terms with seven undrafted free agents. With many draft profiles focusing on those players towards the top and middle of the NFL draft, it is time to get to take a look at these other members of the Pittsburgh Steelers who will have just as much opportunity to make the roster in 2023 as those who were selected in the draft, despite the more difficult path.
Remember, some draft profiles for these players are quite harsh as they are looking at them as a draftable prospect. Taking a flyer on an UDFA is a completely different story as many times the potential the player shows is what lands them on an NFL offseason roster.
Next on the list is Morgan State running back Alfonzo Graham who was signed after rookie minicamp.
5’8” 190 lbs
After one season at Arizona Western College followed by another season at Fullerton College, Alfonso Graham landed at Morgan State University starting in 2021. In two seasons with the Bears, Graham appeared in 20 games with 250 rushing attempts for 1,656 yards and 13 touchdowns. Graham added another 31 receptions for 233 yards and a touchdown as well as having one pass completed for 68 yards. During the 2022 season, Graham rushed for 1,150 yards and eight touchdowns on 196 attempts for an average of 104.5 yards per game.
Current Steelers at the position:
- Najee Harris
- Jaylen Warren
- Anthony McFarland
- Master Teague
- Jason Huntley
- Alfonzo Graham
There was not adequate information in the terms of breakdowns for Graham heading into the 2023 NFL draft. Here is a breakdown from nfldraftdiamonds.com:
At 5-foot-8, 182 pounds, Alfonzo Graham is an undersized running back prospect with a slight build and below-average arm & hand measurements. Despite his small stature, Graham possesses multiple positive qualities that helped develop him into one of the best FCS running backs in the country in 2022.
Graham operates with excellent play speed and is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands. With proficient initial quickness, burst, and acceleration, Graham is most dangerous when he can beat defenders to the edge and utilize his impressive straight-line speed and elusiveness to create explosive plays in open space. Graham has also proven to be an effective runner between the tackles; He possesses underrated power, runs with great toughness & a low center of gravity, and keeps his legs driving upon first contact. If Graham can break through the first line of defense, he becomes a tough assignment to bring down in the open field.
Graham is an intelligent ball carrier who uses his sharp instincts, vision, and patience to create running lanes for himself. Since Graham does not have the prototypical running back size, he has to rely on his athleticism, instincts, and toughness to make an impact in the running game. When allowed to be RB1 in an offense, Graham ran for over 1,110 yards, proving that he can be a smart, productive ball carrier despite his stature.
To go along with his production on the ground, Graham flashed reliable ball skills and fluid route-running ability out of the backfield. Given his top-end speed, initial quickness, and route-running acumen, Graham has the potential to develop into a capable slot receiver. He also possesses some versatility as a kick return specialist on special teams.
Scouts will likely harp on Graham’s size and lack of play strength as a reason to discredit his NFL potential, he satisfies most of the critical factors and specific skills used to evaluate the running back position. In regards to play speed, instincts/vision, toughness, durability, and ball security, Graham checks all of those boxes. Graham also possesses strong ball skills, versatility as an inside and outside runner, and special teams versatility.
Additionally, Graham’s football journey, which saw him attend four different colleges in four years, exemplifies his drive and passion for the game of football.
If NFL scouts can look past the size concerns, Graham should warrant some attention as an undrafted free agent with the potential to earn a practice squad spot after training camp.
Undrafted Free Agent
- To finish off the breakdown of Alfonzo Graham no evaluation is complete without film.