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Mina Kimes Thinks Jaylen Warren is Better Than Najee Harris



Steelers RB Jaylen Warren

Mina Kimes of ESPN thinks Najee Harris is not even the best running back on his own team, so she has no issue with the the Pittsburgh Steelers declining Harris’ fifth-year option.

“Jaylen Warren is the best back on their roster. … He’s not just more explosive than Harris, he’s one of the best backs in the NFL,” Kimes said. “I think he’s so complete. So good at forcing missed tackles. He’s good in pass protection, he could catch passes. So, for Pittsburgh, I think this year they’ll run it back with Warren and Harris, but next year I suspect they’ll hold onto Jaylen Warren and they’ll probably draft a running back in the later rounds to add to that committee.”

Najee Harris became the first player in Steelers history to run for 1,000 or more yards in each of the first three seasons of his career. In 2023, Harris had the best season of his career in terms of yards per carry as he rushed 255 times for 1,035 yards — a 4.1 yards per carry average — and he scored eight touchdowns. Harris had rushed for 3.9 and 3.8 yards per carry in each of his first two seasons.

Harris is the only player in the NFL with at least 250 carries in each of the last 3 seasons. He’s 1 of just 3 players with multiple since his rookie year in 2021, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Warren ran for 5.3 yards per carry, one of the best figures in the league in 2023. He ran 149 times for 784 yards and four touchdowns. He was also more involved in the passing game, catching 61 passes for 370 yards compared to 29 receptions for 170 yards for Harris. On a per-touch basis, Warren is more explosive and efficient than Harris.

Harris’s option cost was $6.790 million for that fifth year. That would have paid him well for the position and where it is at, and as a bastion of availability, he has been dependable. But Pittsburgh is not rewarding him with that fifth-year option money. Harris might take that as a slight. Depending on how he meshes in Arthur Smith’s offense, both parties could decide to part ways after the season.