Harris, Harvin named to All-Rookie Team

Running back Najee Harris and punter Pressley Harvin III were named to the All-Rookie Team by the Pro Football Writers of America.

Harris, who was voted the winner of the Joe Greene Great Performance Award as the Steelers Rookie of the year, led all rookies and was ranked fourth overall in the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2021. Harris finished the regular season with 1,667 yards from scrimmage, which includes 1,200 yards rushing and 467 yards receiving. Harris was second in the NFL among rookies with 10 touchdowns, which includes seven rushing and three receiving.

Harris, the Steelers No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Alabama, set multiple Steelers' rookie records this year. With his 1,200 yards rushing he passed Franco Harris for most rushing yards in a single season by a Steelers rookie. Franco Harris had 1,055 rushing yards in 1972.

He also set a rookie record for most yards from scrimmage in a single season, passing Le'Veon Bell who had 1,259 yards from scrimmage in 2013.

Harris had three 100-yard games in 2021 and became the first rookie running back in the NFL to register three or more 100-yard rushing games, and a 100-yard receiving game, in the same season since Washington's Roy Helu Jr. did so in 2011. He also became the first running back in Steelers' history and eighth in NFL history to register three or more 100-yard rushing games, and a 100-yard receiving game, in the same season since 1949.

Harvin, the team's seventh round draft pick, won the punting job during training camp and the preseason and had a strong year, despite some ups and downs.

Harvin finished the season with a 42.6-yard average and a net average of 38 yards, with 25 punts inside the 20-yard line.

Despite the loss, he had one of his best outings in the AFC Wild Card game, with an average of 49.7 yards a punt and a net average of 40.9 yards. He punted seven times, once inside the 20-yard line and had a long of 56 yards. And he did that while bouncing back from one of the most emotional times of his young life, losing both his father and grandmother in a span of two weeks late in the season.

"I felt like I got back to myself," said Harvin. "Mentally it was tough, and I knew it was tough going into a playoff game. But the biggest thing was knowing that my grandma and my dad are okay, they're in a good place. That gave me a little bit of clarity to finally sit and relax a little bit before the game because it was a night game. I told myself why not go out there and prove to everyone that I am who I am for a reason, and I am where I am for a reason. Just keep God first. I prayed a lot that day before the game. I told myself go out there and have fun. And honestly, that was one of the most fun games in my life. Unfortunately, we lost, and I really wish we'd won. But for me individually, I felt like I had more fun on the sidelines, just being around the guys and being in that environment.

"I wanted to leave the season with knowing that I can leave on a good note. I can show them what I can do as well as continue to work myself into doing it just about every single time."

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