Dunlap: Draft Le'Veon Bell’s Successor Now

Maybe Guice, maybe another RB -- but Steelers need to take one

Colin Dunlap
March 26, 2018 - 1:27 pm

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Le’Veon Bell forced all this to happen. Make no mistake, this is all on him.

Le’Veon Bell had contract offers that were (more than) fair placed in front of him twice now and, to the bewilderment of all things logical has decided he doesn’t just want a hefty sum, but he essentially wants a salary befitting two players in one.

Well, enjoy your final season in Pittsburgh, Lev. Because that’s what this is surely to be.

Who knows if he will show up at camp? Who knows if he will show up for Week 1? Who knows it he will show up for Week 10? Who knows if he will “retire” as he so ardently claimed not so long ago?

And, from the Steelers’ side of it, they owe it to themselves, they owe to the other guys on the team, they owe it to the people shelling out all those dollars for tickets and waving those towels around to plan accordingly. The Steelers need to insulate themselves here; they must realize that no matter how powerful the player is, one part isn’t going to be bigger than the whole. Not now and not ever with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That is why it would be prudent to draft Bell’s successor --- and do it now.  

That’s also why it is interesting there have been a couple reports about the Steelers meeting with (and perhaps having more than just tepid interest in) LSU running back Derrius Guice. This isn’t a middle-of-the-road talent or someone you look to be a backup. Guice isn’t a roster-filler or nice complementary piece. No, he’s a No. 1; an organizational back and top dog. There is no question.

He is a first-round talent and someone will need to most likely draft him there in order to secure his services.

As such --- and even with the Steelers having a glaring need at inside linebacker and a definite need at safety --- it is a truly intriguing thought for Kevin Colbert, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers’ braintrust to potentially grab an early-round running back. And I say go for it. 

Even if it isn’t Guice in the first round, in looking at the situation, it seems like it would be the prudent thing to do. I mean, it is simple: If Le’Veon Bell hasn’t jumped on one of the Steelers’ long-term offers by now, what would give anyone any indication he will suddenly change his mind?

I know I wouldn’t count on it. I wouldn’t wait on him. Seems Lev is looking at his watch and counting the hours down when he's out of Pittsburgh. 

So I don’t know if I’d use a first-round pick on Guice. Although, in looking at it (and the probability of most likely needing to trade up) it definitely is intriguing. If the Steelers are enamored with Guice and truly feel like he is the man, then go for it now --- make a splash and trade up.

But even if it’s not Guice, the Steelers should seriously consider a running back they feel like will be the back for years to come in the early rounds. Because it seems more clear than ever right now that Le’Veon Bell has one more go at this as a Steeler. And then he's gone.