As many of you may be aware, Dave Bryan is on a much-deserved vacation, but he can’t help himself from staying tuned in. As it turns out, he spoke to former Penn State and USC running back Silas Redd at the airport.
Redd was returning from a trip to see Dr. James Andrews. Redd suffered a knee injury that kept him out of USC’s bowl game at the end of last season. He didn’t do much at the Combine either due to his knee.
That doesn’t mean he didn’t have a busy time there, however. According to Bryan, Redd met with new Pittsburgh Steelers running backs coach James Saxon at the Combine last month for about a quarter of an hour.
Out of the five running backs the Steelers had on the roster last season, four are already free agents or set to become free agents. Isaac Redman is currently a free agent because he was released mid-season.
Jonathan Dwyer and Felix Jones finished the year with the Steelers, the former only after being re-signed following the season opener, having been cut with the final roster moves at the close of the preseason.
In addition to Dwyer and Jones, LaRod Stephens-Howling is also set to hit free agency. He missed nearly the entire season after suffering an ACL tear in the opening game, which opened the door for Dwyer to come back.
Outside of a trio of undistinguished, untested backs in Alvester Alexander, Miguel Maysonet, and Tauren Poole, second-year starter Le’Veon Bell is the only running back currently on the roster.
In other words, there is an excellent chance the Steelers will be targeting a running back in the mid-to-late rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft in May. According to Walter Football, Redd is projected to go in the last couple rounds of the draft, or possibly find himself an undrafted free agent, especially in this deep draft class.
According to Bryan, Redd’s knee will prevent him from being a full go at USC’s upcoming Pro Day. As a result, he will hold a separate workout at a later date, when his knee allows him to show more to teams.
The Steelers seem likely, at least on the outside, to bring Dwyer back at a veteran-minimum deal, but Jones is unlikely to return.
With Stephens-Howling’s readiness still in question, despite the team’s apparent interest in retaining him, and the lack of clarity among the bottom of the depth chart, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Steelers pick up a running back such as Redd near the end of the draft.