Can Najee Harris be a day one star for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
Going into the 2021 NFL Draft, Najee Harris was one of those names that even most casual NFL fans knew. Harris is creating a lot of buzz for the Pittsburgh Steelers already during training camp and seems to be loved by the Yinzers. Harris is a unique prospect standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing 230 pounds with a great combo of speed and power in his running ability. The hype train was real from the young man out of Alabama, but will he be a day one star in Pittsburgh?
At the University of Alabama, Najee Harris broke the touchdown record and was a workhorse for the Crimson Tide. Harris broke the Alabama career touchdown record with 57 touchdowns in his four-year career in college. In the 2020-21 championship season the Alabama running back ran for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns while also catching 43 balls for 425 yards and 4 touchdowns. Harris was fifth in voting for the Heisman Trophy this season, joining two of his teammates in Mac Jones and Heisman winner DeVonta Smith who were both finalists for the award. Overall I would say Harris had a pretty decorated career at Alabama and hopes to do the same for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Harris is a big, hard-nosed runner out of the backfield. Najee has shown in training camp 7 on 7s and 11 on 11s that he continues to move his feet and get upfield when contact is created. While having the big frame to bully smaller defenders in the open field, Harris has a quick twitch in his arsenal as well. Najee Harris has made a lot of freakish athletic plays on the field that amazes you and makes you wonder how he can do that at his size. Getting by defenders with his speed, quick footwork in jukes, and even going over the top in hurdles just shows how special of an athletic this kid is.
A lot of people going into the season thought Najee Harris came back for his senior season to work on his hands. Well, Harris’s hands do not seem to be a problem as seen last season for the Crimson Tide and in training videos. One specific video that went viral on social media is a video of Coach Tomlin giggling while watching Najee Harris make a spectacular one-handed grab down the field. Also from the training camp film, we have got to see Najee Harris’s route running ability, as seen making a quick slant on very good pass coverage linebacker Devin Bush in the RedZone for a touchdown. Harris looks like he could bring a new type of running back to the Pittsburgh Steelers to be dominant in the run and pass game similar to what Le’Veon Bell did during his time in Pittsburgh.
If you are a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers you should be excited to see what number 22 can bring to this organization. Najee Harris has potential star power ability at the position and can help repair this poor run offense. Harris has the ability to bully people at the point of contact, get shifty in the open field, and the route running and catching ability that not many running backs obtain at the position. Harris hopes to end his career with the same accolades as other great Steeler running backs like Jerome Bettis and Franco Harris with super bowls, a gold jacket, and being a star for the Pittsburgh Steelers.