Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was obviously happy to see the team he plays for select former Alabama running back Najee Harris in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft Thursday night. In fact, Smith-Schuster was on record as hoping that Harris would be the Steelers’ first-round selection this year prior to the draft taking place. With Harris now in the fold, Smith-Schuster has made it known that he’s reached out to the Steelers new running back.
“I let him enjoy his time with his friends and family, but for the most part, I hit him up and said, ‘Hey man, let’s get to work. I can’t wait to win a Super Bowl.’ And that’s pretty much it,” Smith-Schuster told Daniel Canova of Fox News on Monday on behalf of Charmin’s BRB Bot. “I just said this is my number, if you need anything let me know. As a rookie, they have so much going on with rookie meetings, and this and that. I don’t want to bother them too much, but that’s what I said to him.”
Smith-Schuster obviously knew quite a bit about Harris prior to the Steelers selecting him in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. After all, it was hard for anybody to not know who Harris was as he exited Alabama for the NFL, on the heels of him rushing for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2020, in addition to having 43 receptions for 425 yards and four more touchdowns. Smith-Schuster told Canova that he believes Harris will immediately impact the Steelers’ offense as a rookie.
“You talk about a guy who has been on a high-caliber team his whole career. He’s dominated the game for a while now. And I can see him coming in and doing what he’s been doing,” Smith-Schuster said. “He’s going to start early, he’s going to play early, and he’s going to be our premier running back. That’s why we drafted him in the first round. I don’t see him not coming in and not being ready.”
In addition to adding Harris in the draft, the Steelers also selected three other offensive players in their first four picks. Tight end Pat Freiermuth out of Penn State came in the second round, and offensive linemen Kendrick Green and Dan Moore Jr. went to their third and fourth picks, respectively. Green is expected to be the Steelers future center sooner rather than later. The hope for Moore is that he’ll become a longtime starting left tackle down the road.
The fact that the Steelers spent their first four draft picks this year on offensive players was not lost on Smith-Schuster.
“For us to draft guys on the offensive side early in the first and second round, it just shows that our coaches are very serious about what we are doing and giving more weapons for Ben [Roethlisberger],” Smith-Schuster told Canova.