AFC North Rankings: Where does Najee Harris fall among top running backs?

Najee Harris
Najee Harris / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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2. Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers

Deciding to put Najee Harris over Joe Mixon is going to make a lot of fans pretty upset, specifically, some located in Ohio. However, I think Harris is a slightly better back than Mixon.

Harris has rushed for over a thousand yards in each of his first two seasons in the NFL. Last season, Harris had 272 carries for 1,034 yards and 7 touchdowns while averaging 3.8 yards per carry. The main argument that people have against Harris is his yards for carry, as he's never had over 4.0 yards per carry in his career. However, I think context is key when looking at yards per carry.

During Harris' rookie season, the offensive line was bad and the nearly 40-year-old Ben Roethlisberger didn't provide the same threat in the passing game as he used to. That allowed defenses to focus a lot of attention on Harris and attack a bad offensive line.

Harris still rushed for over 1,200 yards and caught 74 passes as well. Last year, the offensive line was better but still not great and rookie Kenny Pickett played a majority of the season. Defenses could still focus primarily on Harris.

Heading into his third season, this will be the best offensive line Harris has played behind and should be the best quarterback play he'll receive. I think Harris will have a monster 2023 season. I don't think anyone can reach the top of this list, but Harris should be able to cement himself as the second-best running back in the division with a good season.