3 reasons Zaven Collins would be a better pick for Steelers than Najee Harris

Zaven Collins #23 of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Zaven Collins #23 of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Tulsa Golden Hurricane linebacker Zaven Collins (23). Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

Zaven Collins is graded higher than Najee Harris

If these reasons aren’t enough for the Steelers to consider taking Zaven Collins over Najee Harris, perhaps they should consider their draft grades. Many respectable names like Gil Brant, Tony Pauline, and Pro Football Focus have Collins ranked higher on their big boards than Najee Harris, and it’s not hard to see why. Collins is a dominating presence and a man among boys, while Harris is largely the product of an NFL-caliber offensive line and elite talent around him.

Personally, I have Zaven Collins ranked as my 22nd overall player with a 1-2 grade, while Harris is my 38th ranked player with a true 2nd-round grade. I have spent more than just a few hours breaking down the game film on each of these players, and I came to the conclusion that Collins is in a different tier as a prospect.

Again, this has nothing to do with Pittsburgh’s need, but it’s important to consider that Collins is a younger player at a more important position who wasn’t aided by the best team in college football to help him become successful.

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I have no doubt that Najee Harris (or Travis Etienne, for that matter) will turn out to be very good running backs in the NFL. The problem is that it’s just not that valuable. Zaven Collins may not fill as big of a positional need of the Steelers, but I really think he would be better for the team – quite possibly in the long run and in the short term.