Steelers scouting report: RB Najee Harris is the definition of a workhorse
By Tommy Jaggi
The Steelers found the true workhorse running back they have been missing. Here’s the good and the bad that comes with Najee Harris.
Since the start of the Steelers offseason after the disappointing playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh’s brass was adamant about improving the running game in 2021. When Najee Harris was available to them with the 24th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh essentially ran their card to the podium.
It’s now been over three years since Le’Veon Bell put on his Steelers uniform, and even during his final season in Pittsburgh in 2017, his efficiency took a major dive. In an effort to help out their aging quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers knew the run needed to be improved, and they felt Harris had all the traits they desired. Here is my scouting report on the new workhorse running back:
- Versatility is his best attribute; can run, block, catch at a high level
- Big, powerful 6’1 3/8”, 232-pound frame is put to good use
- A true ‘bell cow’ that can tote the rock 25-30 times per game without dropping efficiency
- Incredible arm length (33 3/’8”), wingspan (81”), and hand size (10 1/4”) offer a massive catch radius as a receiver
- Very nuanced his route running as a receiver with a sizable route tree
- Natural football player with an incredible feel for the game
- Terrific shiftiness to make defenders miss for a player his size
- Extremely productive college career – topped off by a terrific senior season that included 1,891 scrimmage yards and 30 total touchdowns
Najee Harris is not your typical running back, as 6’1”, 230-plus pound running backs don’t come around every day that is as quick-twitched and shifty as he is. What makes him such a special running back is his rare blend of elite size and unmatched versatility to excel at nearly every facet of the game.
Harris is a player who can be left on the field every down and, thanks to his terrific receiving and blocking ability, teams will never really know what to expect on any given play. He’s as natural as they come at the running back position, and touches do not need to be forced or fabricated.