Todd McShay of ESPN has now released his third mock draft of the 2021 offseason and this one is designed to carry us until free agency start in a little less than two weeks from now., In McShay’s last mock draft, he had the Pittsburgh Steelers down for Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw at 24th overall. In his latest offering, he has the Steelers selecting Alabama running back Najee Harris in the first round at 24rth overall.
Below is what McShay wrote for his reason for mocking Harris to the Steelers this time around.
Ben Roethlisberger is now under contract for 2021, and he has plenty of weapons. But with James Conner heading toward free agency, the run game could use a punch. Harris is that and more, showcasing speed, size, decisiveness and ball security as a rusher, as well as upside as a receiver and pass-protector. Pittsburgh’s offense fell off a good deal in the second half last season, and the top back still on the roster is Benny Snell Jr., who managed just 3.3 yards per carry last year. Harris averaged 6.0 over four seasons at Alabama, and his 26 rushing touchdowns in 2020 led college football.
That’s certainly a fair enough mock choice and reasoning by McShay. If the Steelers do ultimately go running back in the first round this year, odds are good that Harris will be their choice.
Harris has become a very popular mocked player to the Steelers so far this offseason and that’s not really surprising. He has a lot of positives to his overall game with very few negatives. While Harris was not a home run hitter in explosive runs at Alabama, he certainly had more than his fair share of runs that produced 10 yards or more. He also proved during his college career that he can be a weapon in the passing game as well.
On paper, it seems like the Miami Dolphins might ultimately be the only other team that picks ahead of the Steelers in the first round that would have serious interest in selecting Harris. The Dolphins are currently scheduled to pick 3rd overall and 18th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. If they were to draft Harris, it would likely happen at 18th overall.
In case you forgot, McShay had previously mocked Harris to the Steelers in his first offering of 2021 way back in January. He had the Steelers selecting 28th overall in that first mock of his.
During the 2020 season, Harris rushed for 1,387 yards and 24 touchdowns and he also caught 36 passes for another 346 yards and three touchdowns. For his college career, Harris, who is listed at 6014, 230-pounds, rushed for 3,764 yards and 44 touchdowns in addition to catching 73 passes for 702 yards and another 10 touchdowns. Harris also registered 26 runs of 20 yards or longer during his college career at Alabama.
Below are some detailed posts we have already done on Harris so far this offseason.