(Photography from Steelers.com)
Very rarely do you see a rookie running back come into an NFL franchise and bring them to a Super Bowl in their first year. We haven't seen the situation Najee Harris is walking into with the Pittsburgh Steelers though. At one point during the 2020 season, the Steelers were undefeated and they had no running game whatsoever. Now the Steelers will bring in an elite running back into Pittsburgh who already has a Hall of Fame quarterback and a top-5 defense in the NFL so that could potentially make the Steelers compete for a Super Bowl in 2021.
At least that is what NFL.com thinks could happen when Najee Harris takes the field for the Steelers. They say their chances of winning a Super Bowl in 2021 will hinge on the fact if their rookie running back can run the ball at a Pro Bowl level just like they saw with Le'Veon Bell in his glory days in Pittsburgh. Harris has the capability to play as an RB1/WR2 when he is on the football field and that is something the Steelers needed desperately heading into the 2021 season.
Cam Heyward on Najee Harris: "I think as a defender, we're most excited to have him," Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward said of Harris on NFL Network's Good Morning Football earlier this week. "Having a guy like that that can tote the rock 30 to 40 times a game really puts an ease for the defense. He can do multiple things. I think the investment in our offense this offseason has been huge."
Even Cam Heyward feels Najee Harris will walk into Pittsburgh and be able to run the football 30 to 40 times a game! That is an insane workload for the first-year rookie and will put a lot of mileage on him. It is unclear if the Steelers will fully release Harris in 2021 as they like to hold back some of their rookies in order to prevent them from hitting the 'rookie wall.' They may have no choice, but to let him loose in 2021 because Ben Roethlisberger's time is ticking in Pittsburgh and if their goal is to get him another Championship then the organization needs to go all-in right away.
Although many draft experts did not like the Steelers picking a first-round running back they still needed to address balance on the offensive side of the ball. Whether you hated the Steelers pick or loved it you cannot deny the Steelers needed to address their running game in a big way and that is what they did when they chose Harris.
Now the Steelers will potentially have a three-down running back who can be very physical with running the football. This could give the Steelers another opportunity in 2021 to take another run at the title with Ben Roethlisberger. At least that is what the organization is hoping when they chose Harris in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.