Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris has yet to play a down of NFL football, but Pro Football Focus is already ranking him as the 20th-best player at the position entering the 2021 season.
While grading rookies is admittedly a challenging proposition, PFF’s Sam Monson is banking on Harris’ complete skillset to allow him to make an immediate impact.
“Harris is a complete back who can be a force in the passing game as well as on the ground, and he could get a huge workload as the Steelers look to justify their pick and rejuvenate their run game,” Monson writes. “Harris averaged 3.7 yards after contact per carry in college.”
That versatility made Harris to good for the Steelers to pass up, and Monson is right that he will be relied upon heavily and immediately.
Harris rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns in his senior season at Alabama, while also hauling in 43 receptions for 425 yards and four more scores.
Harris is the highest-rated of the three rookie running backs on the list. Notable running backs positioned ahead of him include Philadelphia’s Miles Sanders, Jacksonville’s James Robinson, Denver’s Melvin Gordon III and Indianapolis’ Jonathan Taylor.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, last year’s rushing leader, earned the top spot in the rankings heading into 2021.