The Steelers have chosen running back Le'Veon Bell in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, held this evening at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
The 21-year-old Bell, led the Big Ten in rushing last season with 1,793 yards, and ran for 12 touchdowns. He is considered more of a power back in his running style, though Bell said in a teleconference with Pittsburgh media that he has versatility.
"I'm a balanced runner," Bell said. "I can go in there and get tough yardage and short yardage ... I can get to the outside and beat you with speed. I can catch the ball out of the backfield.
He lists at 6'2, 244-pounds although Bell said he weighs 230 now.
The departure of Rashard Mendenhall and release of Chris Rainey during the offseason made the acquisition of a running back a priority for the Steelers.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley compared him to former Tennessee Titans great Eddie George and made special mention of Bell's youth.
"It was pretty clear that this was the guy that we would be most excited about being available when it came to ouur pick ... We love the fact that he catches the ball realy well and he still has that big back presence.
Bell, a Columbus, Ohio, native was the 48th overall selection. The pick was read by a former Steelers running back, Merril Hoge.
Bell said that he comes from a family of Steelers fans and that his mother predicted he'd be chosen by Pittsburgh.
"My heart dropped when I got the call," Bell said. "I'm so excited to get there and get ready to get to work. This is the happiest day of my life. No words can describe it."
The Steelers will pick again in the 17th spot of the third round, 79th overall.
First Published April 26, 2013 11:45 PM