Steelers positional grades are mostly disappointing for the 2021 season
By Tommy Jaggi
Steelers running backs: C+
I have to extend some grace to Najee Harris for what he had to work with this season. On a much better offensive line, Harris could have really turned heads. He’s a nightmare to bring down once he gets in the open field. Unfortunately, we didn’t see this happen all that often, as he was routinely hit near the line of scrimmage.
As a runner, Harris was a bruising, physical mauler who routinely fought for extra yards after contact, but he also missed big holes at times. One of the biggest weaknesses in his game, however, is the inability to earn ‘explosive runs (20+ yards) due to his lack of top-end speed.
Harris proved to be a quality receiver for the Steelers in year one, but he wasn’t always the most efficient in this area and he averaged a very modest 6.3 yards per reception. As a blocker, Najee was serviceable in pass protection, but often overextended or missed his assignment completely.
As far as backups go, the Steelers might have the worst running backs in the league outside of their starter. Benny Snell and Kalen Ballage did very little to offer any sort of spark as a change of pace back for the Steelers this year. Overall, it was a quality performance from Harris, but the efficiency was still poor as he didn’t have much to work with in front of him.