Former Dallas Cowboys executive and current NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt has ranked Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris as the rookie in the most favorable spot to succeed in 2021.
Not only does Brandt like Harris’ versatility as a both a runner and pass catcher, but he expects the Steelers to lean on the rookie heavily in their offensive game plan.
“Harris has all the markings of the kind of bell-cow rushing-and-receiving weapon the team has been searching for since Le’Veon Bell’s last season with the Steelers, in 2017,” Brandt writes. “Harris will have the chance to be a true difference maker for this offense as the team tries to extend its competitive window under Big Ben.”
Brandt does not believe Pittsburgh’s youthful offensive line will hinder Harris in 2021, and thinks the Steelers will count on him to take some of the pressure off quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game.
Projecting Harris to make the most of all the opportunities he will be given to produce, Brandt ranked the Alabama product ahead of No. 1 pick and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence, New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons, to name a few.
Selected with Pittsburgh’s first round selection, Harris is already being hailed as the savior of the Steelers’ last place rushing attack from a season ago.
He arrives in Pittsburgh after an incredibly productive career for the Crimson Tide. Harris rushed for 1,466 yards and scored 30 total touchdowns his senior season at Alabama.