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NFL Draft 2021: With the 24th pick, the Steelers select Najee Harris from Alabama

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces Najee Harris as the 24th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2021 NFL Draft on April 29, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces Najee Harris as the 24th overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 2021 NFL Draft on April 29, 2021, in Cleveland, Ohio
Kyle Heim
ANALYST
Modified 30 Apr 2021
Feature

Running back Najee Harris was the sixth player from Alabama drafted in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, joining the Pittsburgh Steelers as the 24th overall pick.

The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that "every mock draft wins" after Harris, a common pick by analysts to go to Pittsburgh leading up to the draft, was selected.

Harris fills a need at the running back position after the Steelers lost James Conner to the Arizona Cardinals.

How will Najee Harris help the Pittsburgh Steelers in his rookie season?

Najee Harris will have an opportunity to start right away at running back for a Pittsburgh Steelers team that finished the 2020 season with a league-worst 3.6 yards per carry.

Harris returned for his senior season at Alabama in 2020 despite having an opportunity to turn pro after his junior year. As one of the top running back prospects in college football, Harris became Alabama's all-time leader in career touchdowns with 57, career rushing scores with 46 and career rushing yards with 3,843.

Alabama running back Najee Harris rushes for a touchdown during the College Football Playoff National Championship game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 11, 2021.
Alabama running back Najee Harris rushes for a touchdown during the College Football Playoff National Championship game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Jan. 11, 2021.

Harris' 4,624 all-purpose yards rank second all-time at Alabama, and his 6.0 yards per carry for his career rank third in school history among rushers with at least 400 carries.

During Alabama's College Football National Championship-winning season in 2020, Harris tallied 1,466 yards on 251 attempts and 26 rushing touchdowns. He also added 43 catches for 425 yards and four touchdowns.

Prediction for Najee Harris' rookie season

Najee Harris will likely get an opportunity to start right away with Conner in Arizona, and he should help improve the team's 3.6 yards per carry from last season.

The Steelers have seven picks remaining in the draft: round 2, pick 55; round 3, pick 87; round 4, pick 128; round 4, pick 140; round 6, pick 216; round 7, pick 245; and round 7, pick 254.

Published 30 Apr 2021
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