The Steelers got a well-rounded running back in Alabama’s Najee Harris. Here are its high-end, low-end, and most likely comparisons in the NFL.
For the second time in the past 31 years, the Pittsburgh Steelers put down a running back in the first round of the NFL draft. This is a position the team has never invested much design capital in. Even Jerome Bettis and Le’Veon Bell – two of the best backs to ever wear black and gold – were only earned for the second-round picks.
Fans clearly have high hopes for the rookie bringing back Najee Harris and it’s fair to expect big things. Najee was a great runner during his college days in Alabama, but who does he compare to in the NFL?
This is one of my favorite pieces every year. Fans want to know who their best draft options in the NFL might be. After hours of studying film, here are my high-end, low-end, probably NFL player comparisons for the new Steelers running back, Najee Harris:
High-end NFL comparison: Steven Jackson
Every Steelers fan should be amazed if this is the player Harris is to the Steelers. While Steven Jackson never deserved credit as a first-team all-pro, he has been one of the best backs in the business for a very long time.
There are many similarities Harris shares with Jackson. To start off, both running backs were considered first-round candidates to drop out of college, and they had very similar height profiles (6’2 “, 230-plus pounds). However, instead of just being bruises charging up in the middle of defense, Jackson and Harris both have incredible finesse for their size.
Perhaps what is most similar between the two backs is their ability to dominate in every facet of the game – especially as a receiver. Even with his size, Jackson was one of the best opponents in the game. In 2006 he made a whopping 90 catches and 806 yards. At best, Harris could take a similar path. If he can stay pretty healthy and have a long NFL career, this is a perfect high-end comparison for Najee Harris.