Ranking every Steelers first-round draft pick of the Mike Tomlin era

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90)
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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9. Najee Harris, 2021 first-round pick

Like Pickett, Harris still has time to improve his status on this list. As of now though, he has had a pair of underwhelming seasons for the team and certainly hasn’t turned this running game into a strength like many thought he would.

Harris was another of a string of successful Alabama running backs. He benefited from playing behind one of the best lines in the nation, and he progressively worked his way into a starting role. His final two seasons were impressive, raking up nearly 3,500 total yards and 50 touchdowns. Despite not testing during the offseason, the Steelers still took Harris in the first round.

The first two seasons have been a disappointment. While his overall stats look ok, he benefited from a massive workload and an extra game each season. He hasn’t been able to post a healthy rushing average since entering the league.

No, he hasn’t had the best offense to work in, but Harris as a player also shares some fault. Despite being a power back, Harris tends to dance around the line and try and bounce rushes to the outside. Even when he plays to his strong suit, he still hasn’t been an effective rusher.

Again, Harris can work his way up this list, but as of now, he is easily in the bottom half of the Tomlin first-round picks. He hasn’t transformed this rushing unit as many hoped he would. Add in the general lack of value in taking running backs early and this hasn’t been a great selection overall.