All 90 is a Pittsburgh Steelers Now series profiling each of the 90 members of the Steelers 2021 offseason roster.
26 • Anthony McFarland Jr., second-year running back
5-foot-8, 193 pounds
Acquired: Selected by the Steelers with the No. 124 pick in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Last season: Played in 11 games as a rookie, but did not make much of a dent in the team’s established backfield rotations.
McFarland totaled 33 carries for 113 yards on the season on the ground and added six catches of nine targets for 54 yards. He was inactive for the Steelers’ playoff game against Cleveland.
College: McFarland emerged as a rotational player at Maryland as a redshirt freshman in 2018, when he rushed for 1,034 yards and was named an All-Big Ten selection, an honor he related in 2019, when he totaled just 614 yards but added eight touchdowns.
Camp outlook: McFarland is an an even bigger battle for playing time than he was a year ago, as veteran Kalen Ballage has been added to the Steelers’ backfield mix, to go along with McFarland, Benny Snell Jr. and Jaylen Samuels vying for carries behind presumptive starter Najee Harris.
McFarland’s biggest issue as a rookie was in pass protection, which prevented him from being able to use his speed as a threat on passing downs. If he can resolve that issue, he has the ability to emerge as a speed and skill change-of-pace option to Najee Harris.
Future: McFarland’s rookie contract runs through the end of the 2023 season, after which, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.
The rest of the 90: