Player: Brandon Brown-Dukes
Overview: With Le'veon Bell's status to start the year up in the air due to his suspension, the Steelers could have an unexpected opening at running back to start the year. Assuming Bell is suspended, that means DeAngelo Williams will be the starter, Fitzgerald Toussaint the second string, and there's an opening for the third spot to start the year.
Which brings us to Brandon Brown -Dukes.
Brown-Dukes is the shortest player on the Steelers at 5-feet 8-inches, but with his 200-pound frame he isn't afraid to be a physical runner. He put up good stats in college, albeit at a small school playing inferior competition. He runs a 4.67 40-yard dash which is just a tick slower than Le'Veon Bell's recorded time from the combine. In his college career Brown-Dukes displayed adequate receiving skills for a running back, and a nose for the end zone when in the red-zone.
After the Steelers minicamp Brown received some praise from coaches and even gave us our first Mike Tomlin sound bite of 2016 when the head coach nicknamed him "Hyphenated Mercyhurst". Unfortunately, it looks like an uphill battle for Brown-Dukes as Daryl Richardson has become the new talk of camp. In the Steelers preseason game last Friday Richardson had 11 carries while Dukes- Brown only had one. To make the roster he'll have to show everything he has to impress the coaches enough to warrant consideration.
Not afraid to be physical or run around defenders
Decent receiver for a running back
Nose for the end zone
Received some praise from coaches
Small stature could lead to a short NFL career
Didn't face top competition in college
College stats got worse declined slightly year to year
Crowded position he's fighting for
Chances of Making the team: 10%