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Najee Harris NFL Draft 2021 Prospect Profile: 3-Down Back An Early 2nd-Round Pick?

Frank AmmiranteFantasy Sports & Betting Writer
Posted: Apr 8, 2021Last updated: Apr 9, 2021

This is The Game Day’s Najee Harris NFL Draft Prospect Profile. After you read our Najee Harris Scouting Report, check out our full 2021 NFL Draft Guide and Marcus Mosher’s first 2021 NFL Mock Draft for Rounds 1-3.

Najee Harris NFL Draft Prospect Profile

Najee Harris: Bio & Measurables

  • College: Alabama
  • Class in Final Season: Senior
  • Age on NFL Draft Day: 23 Years
  • Height: 6-foot-2
  • Weight: 230 lbs.

Najee Harris: Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Patient runner between the tackles with excellent vision
  • Elusiveness allows him to make big plays in the open field
  • Strong pass-catcher with good contact balance
  • Elite production against tough competition

Weaknesses

  • Does not have elite speed
  • Needs to improve in pass protection
  • Played in a stacked offense at Alabama, which may have elevated his production
  • Entering NFL as 23-year-old rookie running back, which may make him less desirable for long-term plans

Najee Harris NFL Outlook

Harris had a spectacular career at Alabama and ended on a high note, putting up 1,466 rushing yards (5.8 YPC) and 26 touchdowns and 43 receptions for 425 yards and four touchdowns.

He is a physical runner with great vision. His excellent contact balance allows him to shake off defenders and gain yards after contact. Harris is a patient runner that does a great job setting up his blocks.

Harris’ frame will allow him to carry the load as a three-down back. This is a big back who is able to catch passes out of the backfield.

While he needs to improve on his pass protection, he’ll likely at least have a role on early-downs and red-zone situations as a rookie tailback.

Harris could be the missing piece for an elite passing offense that desperately needs an infusion of talent in its backfield. Harris needs to go to a team that will allow him to assume a high workload right away.


Najee Harris NFL Comparison

Le’Veon Bell: Harris has similar measurables to Bell. Both running backs have excellent patience with the ability to defenders miss in the open field. Harris also excels in the passing game like Bell, which confirms his three-down ability.

Bell’s career really took off once he shed some weight following his rookie season; perhaps this would benefit Harris as well.

The Game Day’s Marcus Mosher and Adam Kramer see the Bell parallel, too:


Najee Harris 2021 Draft Team Fits

Buffalo Bills

The Bills have a formidable offense with ascending star quarterback Josh Allen at the helm, but this is a pass-heavy attack with a struggling running game. Devin Singletary and Zack Moss did not perform well this season.

Harris would provide the team with a backfield bellcow. He could be the missing piece to an offense that looked one-dimensional at times this year. The Bills likely would have to use their first-rounder (30th overall) on Harris if they wanted him.


New York Jets

The Jets have a major need at running back. Their current group that includes Frank Gore, La’Mical Perine, Ty Johnson and Josh Adams looks like the worst in football.

Harris would act as a safety valve for quarterback Zach Wilson with his proficiency in the screen game. He would help provide balance and upside to an offense that is lacking in both of these areas. The Jets can select him with their second-round pick (34th).


Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons also have a clear need at running back. Todd Gurley has regressed to a plodding runner who can only be used in goal-line situations. Brian Hill and Ito Smith are change-of-pace types, so this team can really use a player like Harris.

Harris could help rejuvenate this offense. New head coach Arthur Smith can deploy him with a monster workload just like he did with Derrick Henry in Tennessee. They can target him with their second-rounder (35th overall).


Najee Harris 2021 NFL Draft Prediction

Round 2, Pick 34: New York Jets

The Jets struck out on free-agent signing Le’Veon Bell, so why not bring in a rookie running back who mirrors several of Bell’s traits?

Harris would have a clear path to a strong workload with the Jets. This offense desperately needs a young and talented playmaker to go along with wide receiver Denzel Mims.

This selection would give the Jets a nice trio at QB/RB/WR moving forward with new head coach Robert Saleh.


Najee Harris NFL Draft Bets

Harris is currently listed at -125 to be the first running back selected on BetMGM. This is a decent value, but I prefer laying a bet on Etienne at +160 due to his superior receiving skills.

I would monitor the situation to see if any sportsbooks come out with a prop on whether a running back will be selected in the first round in this year’s draft.

Last season, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was taken 32nd overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. I don’t think that any of the teams picking at the end of the first round have a significant need at running back besides the Bills at 30.

I can easily see Harris falling past Buffalo, which would make him a virtual lock for the second round.

Now that you’ve read our Najee Harris Draft Prospect scouting report, stay tuned after the 2021 NFL Draft for his impact on betting lines, odds and tips for his likely NFL team.

New BetMGM customers can claim a signup offer to get a $100 Deposit Match up to $500. Use this offer to bet on the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Author

Frank Ammirante

Before joining The Game Day, Frank spent three years in the fantasy sports and betting industry, writing for websites like RotoBaller and 4for4football. Frank is an active member of the fantasy baseball and fantasy football community, participating in high-stakes leagues like NFBC/NFFC as well as industry competitions like Scott Fish Bowl, RazzBowl, and TGFBI. Frank is a member of the FSWA and IBWAA. Give him a shout to talk fantasy sports and sports betting.

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