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2021 NFL Draft Spotlight: Alabama RB Najee Harris

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Perhaps no running back improved their NFL stock in 2020 more than Najee Harris from the Alabama Crimson Tide.  After helping Nick Saban and Alabama win the 2020 NCAA National Title, Harris has been training like a madman in preparation for the next level.  Here are three reasons why Harris will be a first round draft pick later this month.

  1. Three NFL Teams in the First Round Need a RB

The New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Jacksonville Jaguars all have a great need at the running back position.  Sure, Clemson speedster Travis Etienne may be the first back taken off the board.  However, that would still leave the remaining two teams in prime position to take Harris later in the first round.  

Running backs are not selected very high in the draft anymore because of the increased passing of the league.  Keep in mind though, that Harris has first round level talent and will be an asset to any NFL team that selects him.  

Harris would be an ideal fit for Mike Tomlin’s system which is one that requires a tough bruising running back.  One could also see Harris fitting in quite well with the Jags and new hotshot coach Urban Meyer.  Imagine how much a new QB in Trevor Lawrence and a new RB in Harris could energize the Jags fan base.

  1. Harris is the Best Receiving RB of the Bunch

College football fans were shocked to see how well Harris could catch the ball out of the backfield in 2020.  In fact, the California native caught 43 passes last year which is a huge number for a running back (sports-reference.com).  Also, Harris garnered 11 touchdown catches during his spectacular collegiate career with Alabama.  

With the NFL becoming a pass-first league, it is crucial that the running back knows how to catch swings and screens.  No other college prospect does that better than Harris.  Also, Alabama still runs somewhat of a pro style offense that so works in Harris’ favor as well.

  1. Harris is the Best Power Back in the 2021 Draft Class

At 6-2 and 230 muscular pounds, Harris reminds some folks of former Bama Heisman winner Derrick Henry.  Harris is about 20 pounds lighter than Henry but has a similar running style.  No NFL defenders will look forward to seeing Harris bust through the hole as he is an absolute load to bring down to the ground.

Harris is a big bruising type of back that has a nose for the end zone.  In fact, Harris scored 57 total touchdowns in his collegiate career and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back in 2020.  Harris has also proven to be a durable back who can play all three downs.

Another key skill that Harris possesses is his vision to see even the slightest of holes in the defense (profootballnetwork.com).  The 23-year old has the ability to make a quick cut through the defensive line and then simply run over the linebackers and defensive backs.  So, will it be the Steelers, Jets, Jags, or another team that ends up with this Pro Bowl caliber player in 2021?

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