The Steelers selected Florida running back Chris Rainey in Round 5 of the 2012 draft with the 159th overall pick.
Rainey is an entirely different running back from Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman: he’s only 5-foot-8, 180 pounds and is likely to have more of an impact on special teams and in the receiving game than he will taking handoffs out of the backfield. He led Florida in both rushing yards and receptions last season.
He’s got blazing speed, running a 4.45 at the combine. But the lack of strength is definitely concerning.
Rainey has drawn a lot of comparisons to another skilled athlete out of Florida: Percy Harvin. Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said on Rainey: “He can do a lot of things. You want to get the ball in his hands and let him do his thing. He’s a little bit like Percy (Harvin). He’s a guy who can hurt you in many ways.”
I’ve long advocated for the Steelers to get a change of pace RB like Rainey. Today’s NFL allows for some of these undersized running backs to still be very productive and having a versatile weapon like Rainey has to excite Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger.