Many NFL analysts either loved the Steelers first-round draft pick or hated it. There has been no in-between in regards to how many feel about the Steelers taking a running back in the first round of the 2021 draft. Let me just say the Steelers only have drafted in one round of the NFL draft and people are already having fits that they cannot get any offensive line help. That is not true and in fact, there are still first-round prospects sitting on the board heading into the second round of the 2021 NFL draft.
Kevin Colbert knew how deep the offensive line position is going into the draft. That is one of the main reasons why the Steelers decided to draft Najee Harris in the first round. The Steelers know they can go deep into the draft and find some gems as they did in the 2020 NFL draft when they took Kevin Dotson in the fourth round. I expect the Steelers front office to continue that trend heading deep into the 2021 NFL draft.
ESPN's Todd McShay says the Pittsburgh Steelers are the team who addressed the biggest glaring need in the first round of the draft. He says the Steelers took care of the running back position in a big way, landing one of the top two running backs with their first pick at 24. McShay continued to say Najee has speed, size, power, and really loves his decisiveness when he runs the football.
Not only can Najee Harris play out of the backfield, but he can also catch like a wide receiver. The Steelers only averaged 3.6 yards per carry in 2020 and the Steelers ended up losing James Conner to the Arizona Cardinals in the 2021 offseason. The Steeler's offense faded down the stretch after starting 11-0 and ended up finishing the season 12-4.
There is no doubt there was a big issue with the Steelers running game during the 2020 season and that is why Art Rooney II committed to fixing their running game heading into the 2021 season. The first domino dropped by drafting the best running back in the 2021 NFL draft and now the Steelers need to beef up their offensive line. McShay says Harris is a three-down back who can immediately solve the issues at the position and provide the Steelers with something they've been missing.