Report: Steelers To Bring In UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin For Pre Draft Visit On Thursday

The Pittsburgh Steelers will almost certainly be looking to draft a running back later this month in NFL draft and Tony Pauline reports Wednesday on Twitter that UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin will be making a pre draft visit to Pittsburgh on Thursday.

In his four years at UCLA, Franklin rushed for 4,403 yards on 788 carries and had 31 touchdowns. He also recorded 58 catches for another 517 yards and 3 touchdowns in addition.

At the NFL combine last month, Franklin measured in at 5100 and 205 pounds. He ran 4.46 forty yard dash, a 4.31 short shuttle, and a 6.89 three cone drill. He also posted a 31.5″ vertical and a 9\’07” broad jump.

Franklin is considered a one-cut running back with great vision that is expected to be drafted in either the second or third round. Right now he is not considered to be an every down back, but more of a compliment back while he refines his pass protection and other areas of his game.

Besides Franklin, the Steelers have already brought in Texas A&M running back Christine Michael for a pre draft visit, and more are expected prior to the draft.

RushingReceivingScrimmage
YearClassAttYdsAvgTDRecYdsAvgTDPlaysYdsAvgTD
2009*FR1265664.556579.501326234.75
2010SO21411275.3810636.3022411905.38
2011*JR1669765.959748.2117510506.06
2012*SR28217346.113333239.8231520576.515
Career78844035.631585178.9384649205.834
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 4/3/2013.

Steelers Pre Draft Visits To Date

OLB John Simon – Ohio State – April 1

RB Christine Michael – Texas A&M – April 1

ILB Vince Williams – Florida State – April 1

OLB Jarvis Jones – Georgia – April 2

OLB Jamie Collins – Southern Mississippi – April 2

LB Khaseem Greene – Rutgers- April 2

S Jonathan Meeks – Clemson- April 2

S Phillip Thomas – Fresno State- April 2

ILB Michael Mauti – Penn State – April 3

OLB Malliciah Goodman – Clemson – April 3

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • SteelSpine

    This just reminds there are so many RBs to choose from. I thought even a year ago that in this draft we’ll draft a RB in ~ rd 4, upped it to rd 3 or 2 after Colbert blasted our RBs. I can foresee either of many new RBs bringing the quickness & speed we’re missing at that position, that’s why I don’t think whichever RB we’ll get will be a bust. We’ll still need our blocking to come together, but whichever RB we draft will do his part.

  • David Edward

    Franklin is a good fit as a speed back that can turn the corner, which they don’t currently have. As mentioned, he’s not a guy who they’d hand it to 20-25 times a game, but he could be a good “thunder and lightning” tandem with Dwyer. Wait a minute, wasn’t Bradshaw and Jacobs called that? Lol…Steelers can have both the old and the new version. Just kidding, don’t want Jacobs. Anyway I think the Steelers would have to use the pick @48 to get Franklin, but there are enough RBs to be had that they might have a shot at him in 3rd if he slides.

  • Cody Younkin

    why are we looking at third down backs? we got one last year and didnt even use him properly. Why not get a complete back like Stephan Taylor or Monte Ball?? both are third round picks two. The only back worth it in the 2nd round is Giovanni Bernard.

  • $19122620

    Awesome, I like him! Not saying they will draft him, but glad they are interested!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I like Bernard also. A complete back

  • David Edward

    Agree with you on Gio, he’s my top back in the draft and has some Ray Rice in him. To me, Taylor is too slow…even at pro day on a good ankle he was a mid 4.6 guy @ 215. Would rather have Zac Stacy.

  • RMSteeler

    Athletic OL, that stays healthy is usually the key to good running game. Guys like AP rarely come along. The old Broncos just plugged in another RB and got another 1,000+ runner. Don’t know if it will ever get back to that kind of game, but you really don’t know what your RB is capable of without good/great line play. Lot’s of good RB’s to be had in middle rounds this year. Find the best available, when available, that has 3 yrs of tape, great college production, without major injury time lost and put his name on the card. FA’s not worth the $ this year. Get a great rookie.

  • steeltown

    Gio is the best back in this draft, besides Lattimore

  • steeltown

    Franklin is a solid RB.. perfect size at 5’10 205lbs. We have the 230lb power back in Dwyer, we’ll need a speedy “one cut” back like Franklin to compliment a new blocking scheme

  • steeltown

    Well said

  • Clint Martin

    This kid can ball! Would love for him to wear Black and Gold!