This Pittsburgh Steelers Playmaker Could Be Breakout Star In 2024

Pittsburgh Steelers
NFL Analysis Network

The Pittsburgh Steelers were not exactly a great offensive team last season, ranking 25th in the NFL in yardage and 28th in scoring.

That didn’t stop the Steelers from going 10-7 and making the playoffs, however, which makes you wonder how much better this team can really be with a more efficient offense.

Pittsburgh did address some major issues this offseason, mainly under center. The Steelers signed Russell Wilson in free agency and swung a trade for Justin Fields, completely revamping their quarterback room.

That being said, Pittsburgh is still in need of some weapons offensively, especially after trading wide receiver Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers.

But Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon thinks one of the main answers for the Steelers may already be on their roster: running back Jaylen Warren.

Warren is Pittsburgh’s No. 2 halfback behind Najee Harris, but he may have earned himself some more playing time in 2024 based on what he did this past year.

The 25-year-old played in every game in 2023, rushing for 784 yards and four touchdowns while averaging a robust 5.3 yards per carry. In addition, he hauled in 61 receptions for 370 yards.

Gagnon notes that the fact that the Steelers did not exercise Harris’ fifth-year option signals that they may envision a larger role for Warren next season and beyond.

Warren, who played his collegiate football at Oklahoma State, went undrafted but signed with Pittsburgh as an undrafted free agent in 2022.

He didn’t make much of an impact during his rookie campaign, totaling 379 yards and a score while logging 4.9 yards per attempt. He also caught 28 passes for 216 yards.

Warren certainly opened up some eyes this past season, especially in Weeks 10 and 11 when he registered back-to-back 100-yard performances. He topped out at 129 yards in the latter week.

Of course, one does have to wonder how Warren will handle an increased workload.

Sometimes, second-string running backs look great in a backup role, but once they get elevated to a featured back, they end up struggling. We don’t have to look any further than Tony Pollard in Dallas last year to see that.

The Steelers are certainly hoping that more touches will result in even more production for Warren in 2024. They are definitely going to need it.

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