2012 NFL Draft: Potential Running Backs for the Pittsburgh Steelers

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2012 NFL Draft: Potential Running Backs for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Karl Walter/Getty Images

The tradition in Pittsburgh has always been to run the ball. You run the ball control the flow of the game, you run the ball to control the clock and you run the ball to impose your will on the other team.

Pittsburgh has long been known as a run-first franchise with great running attacks and the backs who power them. In recent years, however, the rushing attack has fallen by the wayside. Some of the decline can be attributed to Ben Roethlisberger becoming one of the best passers in the NFL and to the young unit of wide receivers that Pittsburgh has come in possession of. The decline should also be attributed to the lack of quality running backs in Pittsburgh.

When Rashard Mendenhall fell to the Steelers in the draft, people were ecstatic that the Steelers would have a young and powerful running back to complement "Fast" Willie Parker.

In his second year, Mendenhall became the starter and showed good signs during the second and third years of his career, but declined last season. He finished the season by only having two 100-yard games and tearing his ACL, which kept him out of the playoffs. Mendenhall was also never the physical power runner that most thought he would be, instead opting to try and bounce runs to the outside instead of fighting for the tough yards up the middle.

With his future uncertain, many experts predict that Pittsburgh will use an early draft pick to get a new running back. Here are the top three possible choices...

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