draft_category-logo_horizontal_180x24

First Round: Najee Harris

FIRST ROUND (24th overall)
Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

WHO HE IS: A 6-foot-13/8, 232-pound, fourth-year senior who started 25 of his 55 career games played for the Crimson Tide and played on National Championship-winning teams at Alabama in 2017 and 2020.

WHAT HE'S DONE: Harris left Alabama as the program's all-time leading rusher with 3,843 career yards and won the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's top running back, as a senior in 2020. His rushing totals improved every season, from 370 yards to 783 to 1,224 to 1,466, but it was in the passing game where Harris really distinguished himself this past season and in the pre-draft season.

After catching a combined 37 passes over his first three seasons, Harris finished 2020 with 43 receptions for 425 yards and four touchdowns. And at the second Alabama Pro Day Harris ran the type of routes scouts were eager to see, deep routes and wheel routes among them. He also made back-shoulder catches and consistently caught the ball with his hands.

Harris also knows how to find the goal line. He set the SEC single-season record with 30 touchdowns in 2020 (26 rushing, four receiving), and tied Tim Tebow's career conference record of 57.

In two College Football Playoff games Harris carried 15 times for 125 yards and added four receptions for 30 yards against Notre Dame, and rushed 22 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns and caught seven passes for 79 yards and another touchdown against Ohio State.

Harris didn't run a 40 time that was published prior to the draft. Brugler said he "doesn;t have home run juice," but added Harris "compares favorably to Matt Forte with his athletic cuts, natural instincts, reliability as a pass catcher and toughness to wear down defenses."

Harris' contributions in the passing game have been compared to Le'Veon Bell.

Take a look at photos of the Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick Najee Harris

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: "He's built like a sculpted, life-size action figure." _ Brugler.

"His lower half, goodness gracious." _ Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network.

"Najee should be an easy evaluation, ask Notre Dame." _ Jeremiah.

WHERE HE FITS: Harris joins an offense that finished last in the NFL in rushing (84.4 yards per game). The depth chart at the position prior to Harris' arrival consisted of Benny Snell Jr., Anthony McFarland Jr., Kalen Ballage and Jaylen Samuels.

Advertising