5 best building blocks on the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2021

Minkah Fitzpatrick Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Minkah Fitzpatrick Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers have some promising young players they could build a team around. Here are their best building blocks ahead of the 2021 season. 

When it comes to talented young football players, the Steelers have no shortage. It wasn’t always this way, I remember a few Pittsburgh teams in the past that were really hurting for young talent after a waive of older stars were on their last legs.

The Steelers went through a rough patch with some big NFL Draft misses in Jarvis Jones, Artie Burns, and Senquez Golson. In addition, they lost Ryan Shazier for his career due to a severe spinal cord injury.

However, over the past several years Pittsburgh has been able to build up quite an impressive group of young players. For this list, I didn’t have an age cutoff. Rather, I considered who would be the best players to build a franchise around moving forward with their careers. Here are the five best building blocks for the Steelers in 2021:

5. RB Najee Harris

For the fifth spot in my rankings, I considered a few different players. Stephon Tuitt and JuJu Smith-Schuster are players that ranked high on my list of Steelers building blocks in years past, but they just missed the cut this year. Instead, I elected to go with first-round running back Najee Harris.

Though running backs have the shortest average careers of any position in the NFL, Harris is a safe bet to be the lead back in Pittsburgh for the next five seasons (his rookie contract and fifth-year option). If he turns out to be of the rare breed of running back that doesn’t wear down fast (like Steven Jackson), perhaps the Steelers would even consider an extension after his rookie deal.

However, simply knowing that Harris is a talented do-it-all running back that never comes off the field, this is a player I would feel comfortable building around – despite the fact that he has yet to play an NFL snap.