2021 NFL Draft scouting report: RB Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

By , Audacy

Najee Harris helped the Alabama Crimson Tide win the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship in January, and the year has continued to get better for the running back, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 24th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Harris had to compete with Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs and Bo Scarborough for carries during his first two seasons at Alabama, but exploded in his final two campaigns in the program, rushing for 2,690 yards in 26 games.

Measurables: 6’2”/232
School: Alabama
2020 stats: 13 games, 251 carries, 1,466 yards, 26 TDs, 43 receptions, 425 yards, 4 receiving TDs

Accolades: 2019 second-team All-SEC, 2020 Doak Walker Award winner, 2020 first-team All-SEC, SEC Championship Game MVP,

Strengths: Harris has tremendous power as a rusher - he's able to run you over or throw you to the ground with a stiff arm...he carries the ball every time like he wants to get into the endzone...appears very comfortable catching passes, specifically on wheel routes

Weaknesses: Jones does not have breakaway speed...Jones did carry the ball 638 times in four years at Alabama, more than former Crimson Tide stars Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram II, although less than Travis Etienne...his physical style makes it unlikely that he's a player you'll want to give a lucrative second contract, though that's probably true of most running backs

Expert scout analysis: "Overall, Harris isn't a home run hitter, but he's a very skilled runner with excellent value in the passing game. I see similarities to former Chicago Bears star Matt Forte when he was coming out of college," said NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah.


Player comparison: Matt Forte

Both Jeremiah and Jordan Reid of The Draft Network used the comp of Forte, and it's one we are inclined to agree with. The ferocity that Harris runs with will remind you a bit of LeGarrette Blount, but he's quicker than Blount. He ran a 4.45 40-yard dash, eerily similar to the 4.46 that Forte ran in 2008. We'll see if Harris is as valuable in the passing game as Forte was, but certainly you see potential from him in that area as well.

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