With training camp underway, the Steelers could make a call out west to inquire about some running back help.
The Steelers have already begun training camp, and while there is a flurry of exciting news, there is still a clear problem on the Steelers roster: the backup running backs aren’t cutting it. Sure, the expectation is that Najee Harris can and will be the primary back, but the depth behind him is below-average. If something were to happen to Harris, this offense would likely stall.
While adding a capable veteran as a backup should still be squarely on the table, there is a situation brewing in San Francisco that should lead to the Steelers at least making a call. While a rather deep group of running backs are on the 49ers roster, odds are a few of them won’t make the final cut. This could lend itself well to Pittsburgh.
The Steelers shouldn’t be choosy.
Looking at the current depth chart for the 49ers, there are only two actual locks on the roster right now. Elijah Mitchell was a rookie sensation last year, and while he did struggle with injuries, he should be the top back in a heavily rotated room. Meanwhile, San Francisco selected LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price in the third round, and he should be the top backup.
That leaves three primary names as potential trade targets. The least appealing of the three options is Jamycal Hasty. The former Baylor back has been a relative surprise when given the chance, but he certainly has looked like the fifth-best back on the roster. He does have some good hands though, further adding to his value.
Jeff Wilson has been a good goal-line back and a decent starter when needed. He had almost 750 yards and ten scores just two years ago, which would make him a valuable reserve. He did receive nearly half of his salary guaranteed this year, so the 49ers would likely rather trade him than try and cut him.
The best of the options would be Trey Sermon. A third-round pick last season, Sermon never got anything going and quickly lost out to Mitchell and the rest of the running back room for snaps. The Steelers showed interest in the back during the draft process and he would be a great compliment to Harris.
While any of these backs would do, Sermon takes the crown as the best potential trade target. That said, the Steelers can’t afford to be picky here and should cast a wide net. With their running back depth chart so out of whack, making a call to the 49ers makes the most sense.