NFL insider and Braddock-native John Clayton has weighed in on who the Steeler will select in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, believing the team has their eyes on a running back.
Joining The PM Team on 93.7 The Fan on Wednesday, Clayton shared he has Pittsburgh drafting Alabama running back Najee Harris with the No. 24-overall pick.
“Knowing the importance of the running game, and knowing that there’s change in offensive coordinators, change maybe a little bit in offensive philosophy, I could see Najee being that first-round pick.,” Clayton said.
.@JohnClaytonNFL has the Steelers taking Najee Harris the Alabama RB with the 24th pick.— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) February 24, 2021
Clayton added that Pittsburgh will have to be wary of the New York Jets, who are also in the market for a running back and select just one pick prior to the Steelers at No. 23.
Clayton is now the third analyst or outlet to mock Harris to the Steelers, joining Sports Illustrated and ESPN’s Todd McShay.
Harris was dominant during his senior campaign in Tuscaloosa, rushing for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also improved his stock as a receiver, catching 43 passes for 425 yards and four more scores in 2020.
Not only did Harris win the National Championships with the Crimson Tide last month, but he was also named a unanimous All-American and awarded the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back.
In selecting Harris, the Steelers would be adding a significant boost to their run game, which was the worst in football last season. Pittsburgh averaged just 84.4 yards per game and 3.6 yards per attempt in 2020.
While Harris would absolutely be an upgrade at the position, the improvements to the run game can not stop their. The Steelers need to replace and retool along the offensive line as well, which they will likely address at some point in the draft too.
The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday, April 29 in Cleveland.