Steelers Draft Home Run Hitter

Maryland RB played with Mike Tomlin’s son

Jeff Hathhorn
April 25, 2020 - 2:58 pm
Anthony McFarland Maryland

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – Out of the backfield last year the Steelers searched for someone who could hit a big play.  The longest from a regular in 2019 was a 25 yard run from James Conner. 

They got that potential with their fourth round pick on Saturday.

Anthony McFarland, Junior is 5’8”, 208 pounds and ran a 4.44, 40 yard dash at the Indianapolis combine.

The Maryland tailback burst on the scene in his redshirt freshman year with a 298 yard, two touchdown game against Ohio State.

“The Ohio State game did a lot for my confidence,” McFarland said.  “I kind of let me know even though I committed to Maryland, I could compete with the best of the best.”

He committed to Maryland despite offers out of DeMatha high school from Penn State, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn and more.

“He has the ability to hit the crease,” said Steelers running backs coach Eddie Faulkner.  “He gets from zero to sixty really quick and has shown the ability to hit the long ball.”

“I think he’s a good fit to the room.  Good compliment to what is already on our roster.  We had some familiarity with him be it Coach Tomlin and his connection with Dino (son on Maryland team) or Coach Canada having coached him in ’18.  In both regards people spoke very highly of him.”

McFarland said Dino Tomlin is one of the smartest people he has ever met and as for Canada, he can’t wait to be with him again.

“He is kind of like a father-figure on the football side,” McFarland said.  “That means a lot, every time I see Matt Canada.  I pick his brain because I always know he is going to let me know right from wrong.  I’m glad I get to be around him up there.”

McFarland got high reviews from CBS Sports Draft expert Dave Richard who tweeted “favorite non-obvious RB prospect in the draft.  I think he can do anything and has good speed.  Just not a lot of work at Maryland and does have a broken leg in his past.  But he’s good and I genuinely thought he’d be a good fit in PIT.”

While there is a risk that he carried it only 245 times in his two-year career and dealt with a broken leg in high school and said he played through a high-ankle sprain most of his sophomore season at Maryland.  He has 681 fewer rushing attempts than Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, which could help his longevity.

“It doesn’t hurt him,” Faulkner said.  “I think he can be the beneficiary of it.  As we continue to go with this, hopefully he will continue to perfect his craft and make the most of what he’s working with now.”

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