NFL draft: Cancer survivor James Conner stays home, drafted by Steelers

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Shutdown Corner

The first three rounds of the 2017 NFL draft are in the books, and so far we’ve seen emotion, expletives and an adorable baby.

But toward the end of the third round, we got a truly inspirational pick.

With the 105th pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Pitt running back and Erie, Pa., native James Conner. Just 16 months ago, Conner was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma and spent his offseason dealing with cancer treatments.

James Conner. (AP)
James Conner. (AP)

The 2014 ACC player of the year, Conner worked out with his Pitt teammates even as he underwent 12 chemotherapy treatments. He was on the field and in uniform for the Panthers’ season opener last fall, announcing his comeback with two touchdowns in the game. Conner finished his final college season with 1,060 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns; he added 20 receptions and four receiving touchdowns.

Just before he went to the combine in Indianapolis, Conner got word that his most recent scan was clean and he continues to be cancer-free.

The Steelers have star running back Le’Veon Bell, but the team’s backup for the past couple of years, DeAngelo Williams, is unsigned and just turned 34.

More NFL draft coverage from Yahoo Sports:
Watch former Cowboys WR Drew Pearson troll booing Eagles fans
Bulls fans boo new Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky at playoff game
Bengals take controversial Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon in second round
Dan Wetzel: Why more players will follow the lead of Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette
Grading every pick: Who did the best in Round 1?
Falcons’ pick wins draft night with emotional, expletive-laden interview

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