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2021 NFL Draft Results: Pittsburgh Steelers select Najee Harris with 1st round pick

The Pittsburgh Steelers have selected Najee Harris with their 1st round pick in the 2021 draft.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 CFP Semifinal at the Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Entering the 2021 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of draft needs which they needed to address. Unlike in 2020, with no first round selection in the draft, the Steelers possessed a full allotment of draft picks. With eight picks, the following positions could be viewed as a priority entering the selection process: running back, center, pass rusher and even inside linebacker. Those positions, and more, were positions of need to help the black-and-gold get to the next level in 2021. There have been numerous thoughts and debates regarding what the team will do in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.

When the dust settled, the Steelers have selected Alabama running back Najee Harris, with their first pick in the draft.

For those who may not know much about Harris as a player, this is his overall breakdown of his game, per his NFL Draft Profile:

Overview

Plus-sized runner who elevated his game and draft stock with a well-rounded performance in 2020. Harris showed improved short-area creativity and elusiveness to go with his trademark physicality. Creates additional yardage with both wiggle and power, but he lacks desired top gear to change games in a flash. He handled a heavier lift in 2020, with almost 300 total touches in 13 games. Harris’ value as a third-down option out of the backfield and as a personal protector should not be underestimated after his performance in his senior year. His running style could shorten his career, but he’s a tough, three-down runner who can immediately upgrade a running game.

Strengths

  • Great size with the demeanor for the game.
  • Runs decisively and with urgency.
  • Rarely fumbles.
  • Able to gather and cut on short notice.
  • Downhill wiggle to slalom around bodies.
  • Change of direction is crisp.
  • Makes large number of tacklers miss for being a physical back.
  • Has tools to handle inside/outside duties.
  • Follows and bursts to daylight off of lead blocks.
  • Violent finisher who is ready to thump when challenged.
  • Plus balance to keep run on track through first contact.
  • Talent as route runner and pass catcher was on full display in 2020.
  • Soft hands with above-average ball skills.
  • Willing and able in pass protection.

Weaknesses

  • Runs with inconsistent feel for tempo.
  • Lacks speed to threaten for the big play.
  • Gets in a hurry, hindering his ability to find developing blocks.
  • Runs with low knee action and average burst between tackles.
  • Average acceleration out of his cuts.
  • Takes on heavy contact on a consistent basis.
  • Running style could lead to challenges with durability.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft needs in the remaining rounds of the draft now would be considered: offensive tackle, center, tight end, cornerback, among other positions.

What do you think of the selection? Let us know by voting in the poll below and be sure to comment in the comment section below!

Poll

What do you think of the selection of Najee Harris?

This poll is closed

  • 78%
    Love it!
    (2216 votes)
  • 4%
    Hate it.
    (115 votes)
  • 17%
    Meh. Better options existed.
    (480 votes)
2811 votes total Vote Now

For more information on the pick, check out the breaking news podcast below: