Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris has been named to Pro Football Focus’ All-Rookie team for his performance during the 2021 season.
“No running back was asked to do more for their offense than Harris was this season,” PFF’s Ben Linsey writes. “His 978 offensive snaps were 170 more than any other player at the position, and his 381 total touches also led all running backs.”
PFF prioritized Harris’ value to the Steelers in their selection process, while also rewarding him for the production he did muster in a challenged Pittsburgh offense.
“PFF’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric does incorporate volume, and it identified Harris as the second-most valuable running back in the NFL behind only Jonathan Taylor over the regular season,” Linsey adds. “Harris earning an above-average PFF grade at the running back position on a true every-down role in an offense that offered him as little support as Pittsburgh’s did is commendable.”
Harris rushed for 1,200 yards and seven touchdowns during his rookie campaign. He also caught 74 passes for 467 yards and three more scores.
Pittsburgh selected Harris with the 24th-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Alabama.
Harris was one of five AFC North rookies to make PFF’s All-Rookie team. Cincinnati wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Baltimore outside linebacker Odafe Oweh and Cleveland linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and cornerback Greg Newsome II were also recognized.