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Minkah Fitzpatrick played with Najee Harris for one year at Alabama in 2017 before entering the draft in 2018. Harris was just a freshman at the time. Fast forward four years later and the two are teammates again in Pittsburgh.
"He is a great player. I expect him to be there," Fitzpatrick said about the Steelers using a first-round pick on Harris. "He is a tough guy. He is fast out of the backfield. He was picked No. 1 overall by the Steelers for a reason. He is a Bama guy too, so he has that high expectations on him for that too."
Along with rushing for 3,843 yards on 638 carries (6.0 average) and 46 touchdowns at Alabama, Harris also had 80 receptions for 781 yards (9.8 average) and 11 touchdowns.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com believes the success of the Steelers 2021 season all falls on Harris' shoulders and how he performs.
"I know Steelers fans might expect Ben Roethlisberger to be the one cited to guide the Steel City to its seventh title, but the team's playoff hopes hinge on whether a rookie running back can play at a Pro Bowl level reminiscent of what Pittsburgh got from the position in Le'Veon Bell 's glory days," Brooks wrote. "The Alabama product has similar skills as an RB1/WR2 talent, and his ability to create explosive plays as a runner and receiver will add a much-needed dimension to an offense that has lost its luster in recent years."