Throughout the draft process, there will be a massive debate among scouts on who the top running back in the 2021 NFL Draft class is, whether you prefer Alabama battering ram Najee Harris or Clemson burner Travis Etienne. Harris’s blend of size, speed, and third-down ability could make him a lethal every-down back at the next level. Is his unique skill-set enough to make Harris the first running back selected in the 2021 NFL Draft?
Najee Harris NFL Draft Profile & Senior Bowl Measurements
- Position: Running Back
- School: Alabama
- Current Year: Senior
- Height: 6’1 7/8″
- Weight: 230 pounds
- Wingspan: 81″
- Arm: 33 3/8″
- Hand: 10″
Being a superstar top prospect is nothing new for Najee Harris, as he was widely considered the best player in the country coming out of high school. A consensus 5-star running back, Harris chose Alabama over seemingly every other major program in the country. He wanted to follow in the steps of former Alabama rushers like Mark Ingram, Eddie Lacy, Derrick Henry, and Bo Scarbrough. However, due to Alabama’s talent at the running back position, Harris had to wait before he would regularly see the field.
Stepping foot on campus
As a true freshman, Harris finished fourth on the Crimson Tide in carries, but he managed an impressive 6.1 yards per carry, found the end zone three times, and flashed pass-catching skills in minimal opportunities. When he was on the field, his talent flashed; he just wasn’t on the field very often.
In his sophomore year, Harris moved up the depth chart but was still splitting time with Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs. He was the only member on the team to rush for over six yards per carry. With Harris and Jacobs both leaving for the NFL following the 2018 season, Harris was destined for the lion’s share of carries in his first season as a draft-eligible prospect.
As a true junior in 2019, Harris took a massive step in his development as a runner. He was engaging defenders as opposed to avoiding them. He was finally taking full advantage of his size, and both his vision and conviction were better than ever. Najee Harris became one of the nation’s top rushers and one of the NFL draft’s top running back prospects. What many didn’t expect was that Harris would choose to return to Alabama for his senior season.
Najee Harris is an interesting NFL draft evaluation because he brings a skill-set unlike really any we’ve seen recently. He’s a massive running back at 6’2 and 229 pounds, nearly the size of Titans’ star Derrick Henry, 6’3, 238 pounds. However, what Harris does that separates him from other big power backs is his amazing work as a receiver. Harris has demonstrated excellent catching ability throughout his career, and he projects as a player you can feature on every play regardless of down and distance.
Harris dominates Florida in SEC Championship game
Najee Harris is an excellent receiver from the running back position, but he hadn’t found much receiving production this season. That changed in the SEC Championship game, where he caught five balls for 67 yards and three touchdowns.
Harris’ skill set is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. At 6’2″ and 230 lbs, Harris is a battering ram rusher, dealing with punishment and running through contact with ease. He then blends that with his elite receiving ability and becomes a whole new type of weapon. He showed it against Florida, where he accumulated 245 yards from scrimmage and five total touchdowns.
Najee Harris dominates LSU for fourth hat trick of season, inches closer towards 2021 NFL Draft
Najee Harris has scored at a jaw-dropping rate this season. He added three more touchdowns against the defending national champions and has now carried the ball over the goal line 20 times. He also registered 145 yards on the ground on 21 carries, good for 6.9 yards per attempt. Harris has dominated this season in the most talented conference in college football.
Efficient night for Harris in Iron Bowl
Harris managed an impressive 8.7 yards per carry on only 11 carries for the night. He racked up 130 yards from scrimmage and was finding the big play frequently. Harris’s final regular-season game of his career is coming up as he takes on Arkansas this Saturday.
Two touchdowns in a 60-point blowout
Alabama has now posted back-to-back dominant victories against SEC opponents; Harris has been at the center of both. Against Kentucky, Harris found the end zone twice and registered 83 yards on the ground and another 27 through the air. He also recorded a tackle, the fourth of his career.
Kept out of the end zone, Harris still passes the century mark
Despite Mississippi State keeping Harris out of the end zone for the first time this season, he still managed to eclipse 100 yards for the game. He was productive throughout Alabama’s utter domination of Mississippi State.
Harris continues amazing touchdown production
Harris has been unstoppable on his way to the end zone as he recorded three more this week. He’s now brought his season total to 14 in five games, a historic pace. Harris also registered another 96 yards and caught six balls for 61 yards. It was an exceedingly productive weekend for Harris in Knoxville.
Back-to-back big games for Najee Harris, improves NFL draft stock
Another huge game for Najee Harris and his NFL draft stock; he rushed for 152 yards and a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs. He was used as the Alabama offense’s workhorse, rushing 31 total times at 4.9 yards per carry. Inflicting punishment with every rush and demoralizing a talented Georgia defense, Harris demonstrated his tenacity.
Harris dominates Ole Miss
Harris did not let the Texas A&M game get to his head, as he set his career-high for rushing yards against the Ole Miss Rebels. Garnering 206 yards and five touchdowns, Harris had a career day. It was the most dominant performance of his collegiate career.
Texas A&M slows down Alabama run game
After a big performance last week, Harris struggled to find a rhythm against Texas A&M, as the Aggies defense did an impressive job bottling up Harris. Despite the Aggies’ best efforts, Harris still found the end zone twice. His season total is now five touchdowns in two games.
Hat trick for Harris in win over Missouri
Najee Harris only toted the rock 17 times, but he managed 98 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Alabama didn’t need a massive effort from Harris, as the game fairly quickly got out of hand. The running back still found the paint with ease and started his senior season effectively.
Najee Harris’ NFL draft fits
Running back can occasionally be one of the hard positions to find team fits, but a few destinations make a lot of sense for Harris. One team that stands out is the Miami Dolphins. Miami is home to Harris’ former collegiate QB Tua Tagovailoa, and the team desperately needs an RB1 in the building. Somewhere else that makes sense is Arizona, where Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray are a superstar rusher away from being the NFL’s scariest offense.