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2021 Stock Watch – RB Najee Harris – Stock Up

Now that the regular season has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the offseason and the regular season as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.

Player: RB Najee Harris

Stock Value: Up

Reasoning: The rookie running back continues to grow, and continues to score, while contributing both in the running and passing game.

Statistically, running back Najee Harris didn’t have the most efficient night. He only averaged 3.4 yards per carry. But if you only turned on the television in the second half—especially in the fourth quarter—you would have left with a very different impression of how the game must have gone for him.

In all, he rushed for 81 yards on 24 carries, but he picked up 45 rushing yards on his final six carries. He also caught six passes on seven targets for 46 yards and a touchdown. He has now scored four times in total in six games, two on the ground and two as a receiver.

And he continues to churn out yardage, even if it’s hard-earned. He now has 632 yards from scrimmage, and has totaled over 125 in three out of the past four games, he had a 100-yard rushing game last week, and a 100-yard receiving game earlier on.

He still has work to do in both departments, of course. And he has to clean up his recognition in pass protection as well when it’s his job to diagnose the blitzers. He has no problem getting himself up to take them on, but you have to identify them first.

But everything we’ve seen from Harris speaks of a player with both great talent and great dedication. You just assume that he’s going to figure everything out over the course of time. And he is slowly, patiently, figuring things out, week by week. The whole offense is.

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