Nov 30, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange linebacker Marqez Hodge (33) makes a tackle on Boston College Eagles running back Andre Williams (44) during the first quarter of a game at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers Could Stack Running Game Deck With Andre Williams


The Pittsburgh Steelers have numerous needs to be met this offseason if they want to vastly improve from the last two 8-8 seasons under Mike Tomlin, and the field is ripe with opinions.  A need discussed of late is the running back position, and the Steelers have an opportunity to stack the deck in the running game with one very particular selection in the 2014 NFL draft.

The National Football Post posted Friday morning that the Steelers were one of four teams interested in Boston College RB Andre Williams.  The Doak Walker Award winner was a beast in 2013 gaining over 2,000 yards and scoring 18 touchdowns.  Williams is 5’11″ and came in at 230lbs during the combine.  With a 4.5ish 40 time, Williams is thought to be a downhill style runner.  He is a bruiser and has a very powerful core that can blast through defenders.  Much like Steelers newly acquired RB LeGarrette Blount, Williams is powerful yet has a surprising gear when he breaks into the open field, making it challenging for the secondary to chase him down.  He is balanced with his legs, and while he struggles in dodging would be tacklers, he has the ability to push through tackles and stay upright against would be tacklers.  Scouts tend to look more at his running style rather than the amazing stats that would make you think he crushed through the line carry after carry.  Williams did run behind one of the better blocking lines in college football, and as NFL.com points out, Williams had many 20+ yard carries where he was untouched at the line of scrimmage.

Williams would be a great rookie addition to the Steelers offense.  He is very much a younger LeGarrette Blount.  The Steelers would be stacking the deck in the running game if they drafted Williams.  The table would be set for a similar 1-2 punch that the offense will currently have with Bell-Blount without putting the pressure on the team finances if Blount continues to run well enough to garner more cash in order to keep.  Two young, powerful, energetic, and different running styled backs under the age of 25 would certainly put the Steelers running game and dominance back on the map.

If the Steelers have an opportunity to draft Williams in the second round, I could see them taking him.  Williams is projected as a second or third round pick.  The New England Patriots are another team interested in Williams, and since they lost Blount to the Steelers this offseason, they could be looking to replace Blount with someone like Williams.  I doubt he will go past the second.  If the Steelers take a cornerback in the first round, I can see them selecting Williams in the second round – leaving them to select a tall wideout in rounds three or later.  A tall wide out has been a need Steeler Nation has been clamoring for about a year now.  But should we be surprised if the Steelers wait that long – what have the Rooney’s done lately to show their ‘love’ of their $100 million QB lately?

Other draft considerations aside, Andre Williams would be a very solid second round pick  and draw much excitement from much of Steeler Nation.

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Tags: Andre Williams Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Michael Holder

    Zero chance of this happening. I realize every topic has been rehashed and rewritten about a dozen times… so we have to go out on a limb… but this is even further out than that.

    • Craig

      Hey I’m not the one who is reported to have interest in Williams. Talk to the NFP. I’m just saying what it would be like if he did and what would happen for the Steelers to get him.

  • Hutch

    Zero chance due to the fact that this league scores a lot. It scores a lot fast. Running is slower. Plus Blount. I think the Steelers are going to address their glaring defense and if anything gets grabbed early for the offense, it isn’t RB it’s WR. And don’t get me wrong, I like this kid.. but I bet he lands with the Pats.

  • SDAZT.STEEL66

    If the Steelers were to spend a second day pick on a running back who a) wouldn’t touch the ball unless a rash of injuries strike and b) does not possess a versatile skill-set to return kicks, punts or contribute on special teams, it would be downright ridiculous.

  • prnitz

    Not happening certainly in round 2. if we do not take Ebron in round 1–which id be happy to see– id be thrilled with Jordan Matthews or the big kid from Penn State in rd. 2

  • Carl Eagan

    Not sure of the logic to have 3 not so different running backs (similar builds, similar speed similar running style) in a passing league. Although I’m not advocating drafting a WR early also not sure of the logic of drafting a tall receiver unless it’s to develop them because that receiver would be behind the 2 tall receivers already on the roster who have a year experience in the system and have been working out with Ben occasionally during the off season.