Steelers add powerful Kentucky RB Benny Snell in 4th round
The Pittsburgh Steelers added a power runner to their offense when they selected Kentucky’s Benny Snell in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
Snell, a 5-foot-10, 224-pound runner, was the No. 122 overall selection. He is the great nephew of Matt Snell, a running back with the New York Jets when they won Super Bowl III.
“It runs in the blood,” Benny Snell said.
For the third consecutive season, the Steelers used a mid-round pick on a running back. They selected James Conner in the third round in 2017, Jaylen Samuels in the fifth round in 2018.
Snell, who left school after his junior year, was a three-time 1,000-yard rusher. He had 1,091 yards as a freshman, 1333 yards as a sophomore and 1,449 yards as a junior. He accumulated 48 touchdowns in those three seasons.
Snell set or tied 14 school records, including 3,873 career rushing yards and 19 100-yard games.
“We were very interested in finding someone who has a passion and loves football, and that’s Benny Snell,” Steelers running backs coach Eddie Faulkner said. “You turn on his tape and watch how he plays the game, and he mirrors that same amount of passion. He plays physical, he plays hard and quite honestly represents the Steeler brand as you watch him play.”
Snell met with the Steelers at the NFL Combine and again at Kentucky’s pro day. However, he was not among the seven running backs who made a top-30 visit to the Steelers before the draft.
“In the bottom of my heart, this is where I belonged because of my style of football and how I run the football,” Snell said.
And that style is …?
“Hard-nosed football,” he said. “I’m grinding for every yard. I’m physical in pass protection. I’m a physical player.”
Snell said he patterns his style after Marshawn Lynch.
“My style of running is Steeler football, Pittsburgh football,” he said. “That’s what I’m going to bring.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .