Well, it’s official. After the Pittsburgh Steelers worked out Ray Graham earlier today, they deemed him fit to ink to their practice squad according to Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest:
Practice squad move for @Steelers: RB George Winn released; RB Ray Graham signed
— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) November 19, 2013
I for one applaud the move, especially since a team can never have too much depth at the running back position. With practice squad eligibility left, Graham will join Alvester Alexander on the eight-man squad now that George Winn has been released. This is a solid under-the-radar signing for the Steelers, especially since they can stash a versatile back like Graham with the potential to succeed running behind a zone-blocking scheme on their practice squad.
As some of you already know, Graham was in the midst of a successful junior season back in 2011 at Pitt before a right knee injury cost the running back the remainder of the year. To his credit, Graham rushed for 1,042 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Panthers last fall, and even added 36 catches for 340 yards and two scores to boot.
In addition to his rushing and receiving skills, Graham also succeeded as a kickoff returner early in his career at Pitt. Overall, Graham totaled 838 yards during his first two years with the Panthers, and his return skills could come in handy at the professional level.
Despite his success in college, Graham went undrafted but was signed by the Houston Texans and spent all of this season on their practice squad and 53-man roster until he was released by the franchise earlier this week.
I am certainly intrigued to see what Pittsburgh’s newest acquisition can bring to the table, especially if he can find his way into the mix on special teams or at the running back position if he is signed to the 53-man roster at some point.
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