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Pittsburgh Steelers Select Running Back Chris Rainey (FLA) in the Fifth Round of the NFL Draft

April 28th, 2012 at 3:27 PM
By Mark Mihalko


The Pittsburgh Steelers continued their trend in this draft of grabbing players at believed positions of need, with dynamic and athletic prospects (yes, some with red flags). Next in line with this trend is their fifth round selection, University of Florida RB Chris Rainey.

Rainey is a small 5-8, 180 pounds, but extremely versatile and explosive athlete that has the ability to make an impact on both offense and special teams. In fact, he may have the most natural explosion with the ball in his hands of any player in this draft. During his career at Florida, he split time between multiple positions and looks the part of a natural receiver and change-of-pace back in the NFL. More importantly for teams, he was also a special teams dynamo at Florida school and SEC records with six blocked punts over his career on top of his return skills.  

While he is talented, there are some red flags, as he has both medical (shoulder) and character concerns. That being said, he was a teammate with All Pro Center Maurkice Pouncey in high school and in college at Florida, which should help his transition to the NFL.

In looking at this selection, it is clear that the Steelers want to keep WR Antonio Brown off special teams and let him focus on wide receiver. With Rainey in the fold, especially if he has his off-field issues under control, the Steelers return game should not miss a beat.

Tags: Chris Rainey, Florida, Football, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers

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