Najee Harris NFL Draft 2021 Prospect Profile: Three-Down Back An Early 2nd-Round Pick?
This is The Game Day’s Najee Harris NFL Draft Prospect Profile. After you read our Najee Harris Scouting Report, Marcus Mosher’s first 2021 NFL Mock Draft for Round 1.
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
- 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
- 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
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 Sam Darnold (or a rookie QB) 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).
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.
If the Jets select a quarterback with their first selection, that would give them a nice trio at QB/RB/WR moving forward with new head coach Robert Saleh.
Najee Harris NFL Draft Bets
The only draft prop available at BetMGM right now is to bet on who will be selected first overall. This is clearly out of the cards for Harris, so there’s no point to even look at the odds.
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.
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