Steelers draft: Grading the Najee Harris pick in the 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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To the surprise of nobody, Najee Harris is the newest member of the Steelers. Here’s what I think of Pittsburgh’s first pick in the NFL Draft. 

The first round of the NFL Draft is in the books, and I’ve spent the morning gearing up for day two (my personal favorite of the three). The board was laid out in such a way that gave the Pittsburgh Steelers many options they could have gone early, but fans knew about their infatuation with Alabama running back Najee Harris.

Since early in the draft process, Harris has been the single-most mocked player to the Steelers with the 24th overall pick, and when he was available to them in the first round, they wasted no time running to the podium with their selection. Here are my thoughts on the selection:

The Good: Najee Harris will give Steelers an immediate boost

In the short term, I have little doubts that Najee Harris will be the player that everyone expects him to be. At over 6’1” and 232 pounds, Harris has remarkably good movement skill for a back his size and he has showcased the ability to do it all throughout his time at Alabama.

Harris will be the starter from the gate -we know this. James Conner has departed and joined the Arizona Cardinals and the Steelers were left with Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland as their top two options. While these two young backs are still likely to carve out a piece of the action, they will only see the field a fraction of what Harris will.

The big, versatile running back is a better prospect coming out of college than Le’Veon Bell back in 2014 and he will have a chance to be a game-changer for the Steelers. This is only the second time they have taken a running back in the first round in the past 32 years.