Is Le'Veon Bell the answer at running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Le'Veon Bell with the 48th overall pick of the 2013 NFL draft. Bell was the second running back selected in the second round, after Giovani Bernard was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 37th overall pick.
Let's take a look at how Bell will fare in the NFL.
Bell is your natural big-body running back at 6'1" and 230 pounds. However, Bell has surprisingly quick and nimble feet for a player his size.
He isn't going to outrun defenders on a consistent basis, but his pure power allows him to pick up extra yards after contact. Bell is also a decent receiver out of the backfield.
The only problem with Bell is that he struggles in pass protection. Until he gets better with his blocking technique, Bell will only be a situational back for the Steelers.
With Rashard Mendenhall moving on and Jonathan Dwyer struggling last season, Bell should get plenty of touches as a rookie. What makes him an intriguing fantasy football prospect is the fact that he could get a number of goal-line carries resulting in touchdowns.
Michael Fabiano, lead fantasy football writer for NFL.com, had this to say about Bell's fantasy outlook:
RB Le'Veon Bell is the top fantasy rookie on my board right now. Nice fit for the Steelers.
— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) April 26, 2013
While Bell won't start the season as the No. 1 running back on the Steelers depth chart, he'll certainly have a shot to win the starting job. Even if Bell doesn't become the full-time starter for Pittsburgh, he should still see a good amount of time on the field.
The Steelers have no reason to be completely sold on Dwyer as their every-down back, so it makes sense to draft a running back like Bell. His big body and aggressive running style are what the Steelers love about him in their offense.
This was a solid overall pick that will help take pressure off the aging Ben Roethlisberger.