NFL Draft 2013: Le'Veon Bell could be feature back for Steelers

Leon Halip

Pittsburgh is hoping its latest investment in a running back turns out to be a wise one.

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted ex-Michigan State Spartans running back Le'Veon Bell in the second round with the idea that he will become the new feature back, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Bell offers the complete package as a 230-pound back. Surprisingly, Bell runs well at that weight with the ability to separate from defenders in the open field. More importantly, Bell is adept at getting the tough yards in short-yardage situations and has shown the willingness to stay in and block a blitzing linebacker.

The rookie can also catch the football, offering a different facet that ex-Steelers back Rashard Mendenhall never offered. Last year, Bell was a workhouse for Michigan State, rushing for 1,793 yards and 12 touchdowns while catching 32 passes for 167 yards.

General manager Kevin Colbert is very excited about Bell, according to the Post-Gazette article:

"You look at a big, young back that can play in all three phases, but he's especially patient in the run game," Colbert said. "And like I said, he knows when to put his foot in the ground and cut up field and when he makes contact, he has a ton of yards after contact. It just seemed that every time he ran the ball, whether it was for a 1-yard gain before he fell into contact, he always ended up getting contact, so it's second-and-5."

Behind Bell is the newly signed LeRod Stephens-Howling along with holdovers Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman.

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