4 reasons Steelers won’t draft RB Najee Harris in first round

Najee Harris #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Najee Harris #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Everyone is pointing to Alabama running back, Najee Harris, in the first round for the Steelers, but here’s why he won’t be the pick. 

The Steelers are just two months away from essentially having their core roster set for the 2021 season. Though free agency is quickly approaching, Pittsburgh has roughly $5.05 million in cap space, according to Over the Cap, and they will have very little money to go out and fill positions of need.

Because of this and the lack of a feature running back, many believe that Alabama’s Najee Harris would be a perfect fit for the Steelers with the 24th overall pick. While I would respectfully disagree, what really matters is how Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert, and Art Rooney II will view this pick. All three have been vocal about improving the running game, but Harris may not be what they have in mind. Here are four reasons why Najee Harris probably won’t be Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft:

Steelers haven’t drafted an Alabama player in the first round since 1951

There are many factors that make the potential selection of Najee Harris such an outlier for the Steelers. For starters, the team has not taken any Alabama player in the first round since drafting fullback Butch Avinger with the 9th overall pick all the way back in 1951 (a whopping 70 years ago).

Considering that Alabama has been the best college football program for quite some time now, you would have thought that we would see more players drafted from this school early on; however, that’s just not the case. The fact of the matter is that Pittsburgh, like everyone else, has certain college teams and connections that their staff and scouting department are familiar with. Perhaps trading for Minkah Fitzpatrick gives them hope to start going this direction, but taking Harris in the first round would go against this trend.