(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Draft day is finally here and that means the endless amount of mock drafts will soon be over. But we have one more to share. Todd McShay of ESPN released his final mock draft this morning and has the Steelers selecting Alabama running back Najee Harris at 24th overall. Harris has been linked to the Steelers in the majority of mock drafts and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said a source with knowledge of the dynamics driving the 2021 draft told PFT that the Steelers are expected to take Harris or Tulsa inside linebacker Zaven Collins if either is available at 24th overall.
The Steelers ranked dead last in the league in rushing yards per game (84.4) and yards per carry (3.6) last year. Also, in 2019 and 2018 they ranked 29th (90.4) and 31st (90.3) in rushing yards per game, respectively. To bolster their running game they must come out of the draft with one of the top three running backs in the draft in Harris, Travis Etienne of Clemson, or Javonte Williams of North Carolina. They've tried drafting mid-round running backs in recent years and they've had no success in doing so. They need an elite running back in the draft, and Harris would be the best fit.
Below is McShay's explanation on why he sees the Steelers drafting Harris at No. 24.
"In another spot where offensive line is a consideration, the Steelers replace running back James Conner with Harris, a powerful back who is slippery between the tackles. Pittsburgh averaged the fewest yards per carry in the NFL last season (3.6)."
McShay has the Dolphins selecting Notre Dame inside linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah at 18th overall and the Bills trading up to No. 22 with the Titans to select Etienne.