The Pittsburgh Steelers met with Memphis running back Blake Watson at the Hula Bowl, according to Ryan Fowler of Bleacher Report. Pittsburgh was one of several teams to meet with Watson, who met with the Eagles, Colts, Jaguars, Giants, Jets, Bears, Patriots, Broncos, and Chargers. This is standard for many bowl games, so teams can do background work on them and get to know them more in-depth.
The Hula Bowl is one of the lower-tier bowls, but Watson has more interest than that. He earned an invitation to the Shrine Bowl, and that means something. The Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl are the two most significant postseason bowls where NFL Draft prospects earn invites.
Watson played just one season at Memphis after transferring in from Old Dominion, but he made the most of the one season with the Tigers. Listed at 5-foot-9, 195 pounds on the Memphis website, he was selected as a first-team All-AAC player and racked up 1152 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns while adding 53 catches for 485 yards and three touchdowns. He was named the Hula Bowl MVP for team Aina this week.
When he gets it, Watson is explosive and threatens to hit the home run ball. But he seems to be a solid, all-around prospect who will fit in somewhere in this class. It’s not a strong running back class, but the Steelers could look for a third running back behind Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. While those two have played at a high level, they have been lucky with their health. Harris has not missed a single game in his career, and Warren has missed just one.
Godwin Igwebuike and Aaron Shampklin are the other running backs in the building. The former, Igwebuike, is a restricted free agent this offseason. Watson could be an intriguing name the team looks at in the process.