Steelers 2021 rookie stock report heading into Week 2
By Andrew Falce
Steelers Najee Harris
To say it was a disappointing debut for Steelers rookie Najee Harris would be an understatement.
The first-round pick failed to accumulate over 50 total yards in his debut and averaged a rough 2.8 yards per carry in the opener. He failed to be much of a threat on the ground, and as a result, the Steelers offense was bland and one-dimensional.
To be fair, Pittsburgh’s offensive line was a mess in the opening game, and Ben Roethlisberger struggled to connect with Harris in the passing game. This aided in Harris’ unfortunately slow start to the year.
While sharing the blame is fair, one has to be critical of Harris still. A running back taken in the first round is expected to be a game-changer no matter the team that surrounds him. Harris wasn’t that in Week 1, and, unfortunately, the team will have few ways to improve the team around him in the short term.
This means Harris will likely continue to post mediocre games until either this line improves or Harris finds a way to succeed without them. Expectations were higher for Harris in year one, and his final result from his first game left the Steelers wanting more.
His stock is down for now, and while he will rebound, it is disappointing to see him struggling so early.
With the Steelers winning their Week 1 game via an upset, and with their rookie class seeing significant playing time, this group of new pros has a lot to prove going forward. Most of the debuts were solid, but a few were overall disappointing.
No matter if their stock is up or down, each rookie has something to improve upon in Week 2.