Welcome to the 2021 NFL Draft Najee Harris Profile!
Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram, Shaun Alexander, Josh Jacobs, Damien Harris, Kenyan Drake, and Najee Harris. What do all these guys have in common? All are former Alabama Crimson Tide runners, and all but Najee Harris are highly productive NFL backs.
Harris, one of college football's top players, passed on NFL stardom last season for some unfinished business at Alabama. An elusive career in which 3843 yards, 638 carries, and scored 46 touchdowns, the young man looks to elevate his game and set the tone at the next level.
After a legendary career at Alabama, the young star looks to gain success at the next level. This is where it all begins. The journey started four long years ago, now we enter into the next stage. This is where the legendary career of Najee Harris begins.
Now let's dive into the 2021 NFL Draft Najee Harris Profile and breakdown his career, highlights, stock, dynasty portfolio, and much more.
2021 NFL Draft Najee Harris Profile
For more player profiles, rankings, big board, mock drafts, and more check out the rest of our 2021 NFL Draft Coverage.
- Height: 6'2"
- Weight: 230 LBs
- Year: Senior (22 years old)
- College: Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
You can see that Harris is a load of a human, weighing in at 230 and standing at 6'2", he's a formidable human being. His big bruising frame is eerily reminiscent of former Alabama runner Derrick Henry. Two monstrous men that when approached by linebackers, consistently stand them up and knock them over.
Najee Harris in 2020
💥 30 total TDs
💥 47 runs of 10+ yards
Most in college football 😤 pic.twitter.com/3Ldtc5MbJR
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) March 3, 2021
A thick muscular frame has built a legendary foundation that Harris has made a name on. His massive quads and glutes help him power through defenders and bully weaker corners and safeties. A powerful core keeps the runner elusive with quick feet in the open field.
A truly unguardable specimen. The athleticism that Harris presents at his size and weight is special. A remarkable man, and an even better athlete. Najee Harris is college football's finest, his road to NFL success will be paved via his frame, size, strength, speed, and much more.
Freshman year for Harris wasn't the best, but when you take a closer look you can see why the young man ran just 61 times. During the 2017 season, the Crimeside tide rolled out a running back room of Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough, and Josh Jacobs. All three guys are NFL backs and two of them are starting on teams currently.
With such vast competition, the young man still totted the rock 61 times for 370 yards on an impressive 6.1 yards per carry. His freshman year really set the tone for what was to come. He quickly emerged in 2018 as one of college football's ascending prospects rushing for 783 yards.
But it wasn't until the last two season's as a junior and senior that the 22-year old really took off. Running for 2690 yards on 460 carries while logging an absurd 39 touchdowns, Harris tore it up. The young stud even showed passing game capability in his final two seasons as he caught over 1100 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 70 receptions.
His time at Alabama was a productive one as he led all of college football in touchdowns in 20202 on his way to winning the 2020 Doak Walker Award. A Rose Bowl, Citrus Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and National Champion, Harris is formidable and carries the weight as college football's top back heading into 2021.
Najee Harris of @AlabamaFTBL wins the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back. pic.twitter.com/pXSqaL1J4i
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) January 8, 2021
Size & Strength
In the measurements above, I touched on Harris's size and strength. His formidable body helps him consistently move weaker defenders back making it incredibly hard for one on one tacklers to corral him. He also uses his consistently churning calves and thighs to work through weaker leg tackles and body tackles.
Since he accounted for 81% of Alabama's carries, Najee Harris buoyed much of the Tide's ground game. On a 41.9% Broken Tackle Rate (13), a sixth of his carries went 10+ on a 54.9% Success Rate. Alabama was held to a 2.32 rush yds before contact averagehttps://t.co/3YuCSjvCis pic.twitter.com/aBhoWFW3de
— SEC StatCat (@SEC_StatCat) December 20, 2020
With his heavy muscular frame, linebackers and corners consistently need double teams to try to take down the Bama product. His ability to churn yards after contact with his body makes Harris one of the most desirable products we've seen from the position in years.
Coming from a school look Alabama, you need to truly stand out to be a part of the program. One of the tools that help Harris stand out is his elite-level vision of the football field. The young man's ability to read the defender's bodies and eyes help him create extra yards.
The vision that Harris possesses allows him to see the field in different ways. The young runner often finds and cuts through holes before they open causing havoc for defenders. His ability to jump cut and bounce plays to the outside when he sees and feels the pressure is something elite runners do often.
Najee Harris vision and patience works well together. Spots defender, sets him up prior to jump cut. RB1!!
— Damian Parson 🏈 (@DP_NFL) November 29, 2020
His vision paired with his patience is magnificent. The poise, patience, and overall feel for the game that Harris has is uber impressive.
The run heard round the world. That's what Harris did in a playoff game against Notre Dame. Take a look at the clip below.
THIS NAJEE HARRIS HURDLE 😱 #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/3qiYJq9wPi
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 1, 2021
My goodness Najee, that man has a family. Sheesh. But on another note, what guy of his size and weight can hurdle over someone? Nobody. Final answer. He has absurd athleticism and vertical for someone of his size and stature.
His quick feet and jump-cutting ability are scary. He also has tons of speed, take a look at this clip.
This jump cut by Najee Harris.... whew. pic.twitter.com/QAmt6LqKU5
— Adam Pfeifer (@APfeifer24) January 31, 2021
Straight-line speed, side-to-side speed, stop and go speed, what doesn't this guy have? Outstanding running and quickness are on full display whenever you watch this talented runner tout the football.
- Jump cutting ability
- Pass catching ability
- Great hands
- Tackle shedding ability
- Never goes down on first contact
- Elite stiff arm
- Violent runner
- Downhill specialist
- Elite competition
- Proven winner
Top End Speed
There really isn't a lot to be concerned about with Harris. He is arguably the best runner in the entire draft and is definitely my number one. But the one thing that hinders Harris is his top-end speed.
The savage runner often breaks through middle levels of the defense but is often caught in the secondary by safeties. He shows an ability to break tackles when caught but is sometimes dragged down when caught by multiple defenders.
The four-year star often struggles to get separation in the later tiers of the defense. Other than this one thing, the young back has no glaring weakness.
- Tall runner
- Flat-footed runner
- Not fast in the open field
- Lacks high-end speed
- Can't flip through multiple "gears"
- Four-year starter
- Tons of miles on his legs
- Long speed concerns
- Needs improvement blocking
It's clear that Harris is a starting-caliber back in the NFL. but for me, his eye-popping traits have him as a star. His quick-cutting ability mixed with his patience and elite vision has him as by far the best back coming out of college football.
Harris's strong body and frame make him impossible to be stopped on the first contact and even when slowed down it's incredibly hard to drag him down. His feet consistently work churning extra yards.
The superstar back possesses all the traits to be an elite caliber back, passing game skills, rough running style, ability to consistently churn extra yards. Harris is the total package, his game translates extremely well to the next level.
With no real concerns other than straight-line speed and an abundance of usage, it's clear Harris is likely a top-20 prospect in this year's draft. Where he will get drafted is unknown yet, but you best believe he will make an impact from day one. I could see him having a similar rookie season to Jonathan Taylor of the Colts.
- Motor: A-
- Vision: A+
- Strength: A+
- Speed: B-
- Elusiveness: B+
- Game changer: A+
- Acceleration: B
- Patience: A-
- Footwork: A
- Height: A-
- Weight: A+
- Balance: A+
LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego Chargers
A former Charger great, in his career Tomlinson ran for 13684 yards, 145 touchdowns, caught 4772 yards, and scored 17 passing touchdowns. An all-time great that whenever he took the field, he had the utter attention of the defense. Coordinators would stay up all day and night to game plan around LT. He was that special.
LaDainian Tomlinson, who turns 41 today, was one of the best to ever do it 🎈⚡️ @LT_21
Here are some reasons why:
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 23, 2020
His speed, quickness, shifty cuts, footwork, pass-catching ability, smoothness, and overall mean run style lead to a legendary career in San Diego. A multiple thousand-yard runner, Tomlinson is what I see when I'm watching Najee Harris. Both show ability to shed tackles and bruise defenders.
#TBT to Week 13 2002 when @chargers HOF RB LaDainian Tomlinson (@LT_21) put up 56.1 fantasy pts! pic.twitter.com/1GLRPaaeYv
— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) December 3, 2020
Slow to fast through! Najee Harris is quicker & more agile than back of his size should be.
— Damian Parson 🏈 (@DP_NFL) March 2, 2021
Look at the similarity in the clips, both show clear ability to work through tackles and are comfortable in space and with defenders close by. Harris is a bit more of a pass-catcher than LT, but LT has a bit more straight-line speed than Harris.
Both are bruising backs with lightning-quick speed that show insane field vision. If Harris can reach just similar levels of what this legendary back was, he may be the next special runner we've seen come in out and quite some time.
Ideal NFL Fit
In my last breakdown of UNC RB Javonte Williams, I wrote about how he makes sense for the Steelers. Well, that applies to the Harris and the Steelers this time as well.
It's no secret the Steelers have been hurting at the position since they lost Le'Veon Bell way back in 2018. Replacements like James Conner, Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland, and others have tried and failed to fill the void left by the former superstar runner.
The hole is so wide in fact, the Steelers ranked dead last in terms of rushing yards per game at the position. The pitiful run game racked up only 84.4 yards per game, 7.2 yards per game below every team. The situation and running back room in Pittsburgh is bleak.
Harris can make strides in a weak running back room and potentially breathe a breath of fresh air into the room. His vision and mashup of moves in the open field make him a great target for a struggling run game. His bruising nature may be enticing for a team that drafted James Conner to do exactly that.
Happy Saturday night from The Blitzburgh Videos:
14 yard TD run by Najee Harris versus LSU #NFL #NFLDraft #Steelers #RollTide pic.twitter.com/iNiza4C3z2
— BlitzburghUSAVideos (@sdextrasmedia) March 7, 2021
Harris makes for an excellent replacement for Conner and should easily change the pressure of Big Ben and company.
I'm projecting Harris to go in the first round of this year's NFL draft. Ton's of teams are lacking an elite level or even starting caliber back heading into the draft. Teams like the Jets, Steelers, Dolphins, Bucs, and Bills are all in need of a top-end back or replacement for what they have starting.
If I'm slotting him in at a draft position it will likely be between picks 18 and 32. All the teams listed above have a pick in that range, especially the Steelers, who draft at 24. It wouldn't shock me if he is selected by the Dolphins at 18 or even the Steelers are 24.
My best guess for what team he heads to is to the Steelers. With JuJu Smith-Schuster heading out the door, the Steelers in cap jail, and the need to win now mixed with little RB production, they are the team with the highest likelihood of drafting Harris.
NFL Draft position
High-end 2nd rounder, potential 1st rounder
Future top-10 runner in the NFL, multiple-time All-Pro, and Pro-Bowler. Future Hall of Fame back. Will likely have multiple seasons of 1000 yards or more. Finishes career with over 9,000 rushing yards and 100 touchdowns.
Dynasty Draft position
In Superflex league's he's a top-5 draft pick. In PPR leagues, he is a no-doubt top-3 pick.
Read more profiles on our 2021 NFL Draft Page. Thanks for tuning into this 2021 NFL Draft Najee Harris Profile!
[…] overall and was the second running back off the board. Najee Harris had a better college career. Najee Harris was the better college prospect. And Najee Harris was more highly regarding entering the NFL […]