The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to sign Duke running back Mataeo Durant as an undrafted free agent on Saturday after the completion of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Durant, 22, adds to the team’s halfback depth chart. He’ll compete for a spot with Anthony MccFarland Jr., Benny Snell Jr. and Trey Edmunds behind starter and 2021 first-round pick Najee Harris. The team also signed UDFA Jaylen Warren out of Oklahoma State.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Durant is as durable as a football player can be. Across his four seasons with the Blue Devils, he only missed four games. He appeared in 44 total with 12 starts and is the ninth player in Duke football history to have over 2,000 career rushing yards (2,562). He had 18 rushing touchdowns in his career.
Durant was also strong in the receiving game for Duke, amassing 55 receptions in his career for 488 yards. He had a combined 3,050 career all-purpose yards. In 2020 he was awarded the team’s Carmen Falcone Most Valuable Player Award and last year was an All-ACC First-Team selection. In 2021, he also set the record for most rushing yards in a single season in program history with 1,241 yards.
The Steelers had been looking for help in the running game behind starter Harris. Harris had 307 carries last season and was targeted 94 times in the passing game. Harris was on the field for 980 snaps last season, a 84% usage rate. They neglected to draft a running back, but did draft a tight end/fullback in Connor Heyward. Heyward is the brother of Steelers star defensive end Cam Heyward.