Rookie Recap: Najee Harris

"He's a complete back."

Those were the words of Coach Mike Tomlin when the Steelers selected running back Najee Harris in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and those words held true all season.

Harris proved to be a complete back, with his ability to contribute not just in the ground game, but in the passing game and as a blocker all season.

Harris, who was voted the winner of the Joe Greene Great Performance Award as the Steelers Rookie of the year and named to the 2022 Pro Bowl as a replacement, finished the regular season with 1,667 yards from scrimmage, which includes 1,200 yards rushing and 467 yards receiving. Harris, who led all rookies in yards from scrimmage, was second in the NFL among rookies with 10 touchdowns, which includes seven rushing and three receiving.

Harris set multiple Steelers rookie records in 2021, including passing Franco Harris for most rushing yards in a single-season by a Steelers rookie with 1,200 yards. 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.

"He's a multi-talented, faceted running back," said Baltimore Ravens Coach John Harbaugh. "He's big, strong, fast. He has great vision. He runs routes out of the backfield. He lines up out there and runs routes. He can catch it. He's just an elusive…for such a big back, he's very elusive. (He's) a tackle breaker-type guy."

Harris had the first 100-yard game of his career in Week 5 when he rushed for 122 yards on 23 carries against the Denver Broncos. It was part of a strong month of October for him that earned him NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October for his efforts, which included four games from Week 4-8.

During the four-game stretch Harris had 88 carries for 356 yards, a four-yard average, and three touchdowns. He also added 17 receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown. He scored one touchdown in every game during the month.

"They really hit on this back. He's a really complete back," said Los Angeles Chargers Coach Brandon Staley. "He's smooth, he can see, he can run with power, he can catch the football out of the backfield. He has a physical presence, so he's willing in pass protection. He's definitely a strength of their football team. He is one of these young runners that's making a name for himself in the league. I definitely think they've done an outstanding job of bringing him along. He certainly has a great pedigree, coming from Alabama. He's an outstanding young player."

Najee Harris Single-Game Highs: Rushing and Receiving

Rush Attempts:
28 vs. Cleveland Browns, Jan 03, 2022
26 vs. Detroit Lions, Nov 14, 2021
...1 moree at 26.

Rushing Yards:
188 vs. Cleveland Browns, Jan 03, 2022
122 vs. Denver Broncos, Oct 10, 2021

Longest Runs:
37t vs. Cleveland Browns, Jan 03, 2022
30 vs. Cleveland Browns, Jan 03, 2022

Rushing TDs:
1 vs. Cleveland Browns, Jan 03, 2022
1 at Minnesota Vikings, Dec 09, 2021
...5 more at 1.

Receptions:
14 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Sep 26, 2021
6 vs. Seattle Seahawks, Oct 17, 2021
...1 more at 6.

Receiving Yards:
102 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Sep 26, 2021
46 vs. Seattle Seahawks, Oct 17, 2021

Longest Receptions:
25t vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Sep 19, 2021
21 vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Sep 26, 2021

Receiving TDs:
1 vs. Seattle Seahawks, Oct 17, 2021
1 vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Sep 19, 2021

All-Purpose Yards:
206 vs. Cleveland Browns, Jan 03, 2022
142 vs. Denver Broncos, Oct 10, 2021
...1 more at 142.

Most TDs:
2 at Minnesota Vikings, Dec 09, 2021
1 vs. Cleveland Browns, Jan 03, 2022
...7 more at 1.

Rushing Average:
6.7 vs. Cleveland Browns, Jan 03, 2022
5.3 vs. Denver Broncos, Oct 10, 2021

Receiving Average:
9.7 at Cleveland Browns, Oct 31, 2021
8.6 vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Sep 19, 2021

Najee Harris won the Joe Greene Great Performance Award, presented to the team's top rookie

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