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It's early March and that means mock draft season is in full gear. Most mock drafts so far have the Steelers drafting an offensive tackle or running back at 24th overall, and the running back that's often linked to the Steelers is the ultra-talented running back from Alabama Najee Harris.
Dale Lolley, Matt Williamson and Mike Prisuta recently did a mock draft on Steelers.com and Lolley and Williamson both had the Steelers selecting Harris in the first round. Prisuta had the Steelers selecting Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins.
Williamson's analysis on Harris: "The Steelers couldn't count on their running game last year. Why not add the best back in the draft and a guy that fits Pittsburgh extremely well?"
Lolley's analysis on Harris: "The best running back in the draft. The early run on offensive tackles, takes that position off the board."
Chris Burke of The Athletic released a mock draft today and he also had the Steelers drafting Harris at 24th overall. The Steelers have ranked 29th or worse in the last three years when it comes to running the ball, and this past year they ranked dead last in rushing yards per game (84.4) and yards per carry (3.6).
The offensive line looked old and tired last year, but James Conner is a medicore running back that is not very durable, which is why it's pretty much certain that he won't be re-signed this offseason. And Benny Snell Jr., Jaylen Samuels and Anthony McFarland Jr. are just complementary running backs. They're not No. 1 running backs. Harris is the complete package and would instantly jump start the Steelers' rushing attack.
Below is the exerpt of why Burke has the Steelers selecting Harris in the first round.
"Does having a star running back matter if there’s no one to block for him? Let’s find out. With or without Roethlisberger in 2021, the Steelers have to get more out of their backfield. Harris is a highly productive back who offers more than people give him credit for as a receiving threat."