Najee Harris is an impressive guy. The former Alabama running back has a great personality that makes him really likeable off the field. But at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, his on-field impact will be what makes him stand out in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers were looking for a dynamic weapon out of the backfield when they drafted Harris at No. 24 overall back in April. And whether as a runner or receiver, the Doak Walker Award winner is going to provide just that.
His overall size, power, vision and contact balance make him an effective threat as a runner. But despite having almost Derrick Henry type size, Harris is also excellent as a pass-catcher. Over his last two seasons at Alabama, he hauled in 80 catches for 781 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Najee Harris with some nice hands. pic.twitter.com/VFLuEddiX5
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) May 14, 2021
Does that make him Le’Veon Bell who will bring in 75-85 catches for 700-900 yards? Maybe, maybe not. Harris may not bring the same skill set as Bell, but in some ways, he could be even better.
So far, he’s shined in rookie minicamp, not only for his abilities, but for his work ethic too. Harris has shown up in fantastic shape, and head coach Mike Tomlin has taken notice.
“I think he is as highly conditioned as anybody out there, and that is a great place to begin,” Tomlin recently said, via Trib Live. “I think he has a nice foundation from that perspective. He is a sharp guy. He is a football guy. You can tell he is passionate about football. He can articulate the game very well, so it’s a lot to be excited about.”
Yes, the Steelers desperately need help along their offensive line. That need had some believing Harris was a luxury Pittsburgh couldn’t afford in the first round, but having that position shored up for the foreseeable future is a positive.
Harris will provide plenty of on-field impact, but that work ethic and leadership ability will also be beneficial to the locker room.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 17, 2021
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.