Sports Illustrated has released their latest mock draft, and has the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Alabama running back Najee Harris with the No. 24 pick in the first round.
“Easily one of the best running backs in college football last year, Harris has shown that he can be an all-around back, catching the ball, blocking, finding open space and creating yards for himself,” SI’s Zack Patraw writes. “The Steelers haven’t had that kind of consistent runner since they let go of Le’Veon Bell.”
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Sports Illustrated is the second outlet to mock Harris to the Steelers after ESPN’s Todd McShay did in early January.
Harris was tremendous during his senior season in Tuscaloosa, rushing for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also improved his stock as a receiver in 2020, catching 43 passes for 425 yards and four more scores.
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 for good measure.
In drafting Harris, the Steelers would be looking to bolster 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.