Najee Harris Draft Profile
Najee Harris is an extremely rare running back that is well rounded and athletic. He is arguably the most talented running back to enter the draft since Saquon Barkley and his ability to dominate as both a runner and receiver makes him a clear cut first round prospect. In today’s day and age, it’s rare for running backs to be drafted high, but Harris is a can’t miss prospect.
The three most important traits for a running back are their vision, burst, and ability to make defenders miss. Harris is elite at all three levels. While Harris might not be as fast as Barkley, he is just as athletic. He will out jump anyone and is as strong as some of his lineman. Harris is a powerful runner, but at the same time he has insane short area quickness. In the open field, Harris can make any defender miss. People may say he is in his bag, but in his bag, he’s got multiple suits. The only word that can really describe Harris is freakish. Against Notre Dame, he was able to run a grown man over and in the same quarter hurdle a defender standing straight up. When running in between the tackles, Harris is can juke a dude out of his shoes with just one move. He’s got that Peter Warrick dead leg. Harris is elusive and is practically untacklable in one-on-one situations. Najee Harris really just made me makeup a new word to describe him, he is that good. One thing that I love about his running style is that he invites contact and if a defender doesn’t commit he will make him pay. Vision stands out when watching Harris run, he does a great job at cutting back and finding holes even if they weren’t designated for him.
As a receiver, Harris has elite talent. He is arguably the best receiving back in this class that can run routes and line up on the outside. His yards after the catch is ridiculous and he is completely capable of routing up defensive backs. Harris’ hands are soft and natural and will be a three down back in the NFL.
It’s hard to find a flaw in Harris’ game without being very nit-picky. He isn’t an elite blocker, but he’s extremely strong so that can improve at the next level. Because Harris is always trying to make a big play there will be times that he puts himself in trouble and loses yards, a similar problem to what Saquon Barkley had coming out of Penn State. Some people think having a lot of tread on the tires is a bad thing for running backs coming out of college, but if we look at Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry (the two best running backs in the NFL), each of them had over 600 carries in college. Some players are just built differently and I believe Harris falls into that category.
Najee Harris’ talent may be top 10 in the class, but he will most likely be drafted in the middle to late first round because he is a running back. The value for a top running back is diminishing, which sucks for Harris, but I can practically guarantee that he will be a top RB in the next few years. I can see Harris being drafted as early as 13th to the Chargers and as late as 24th to the Steelers. His best fits are with the Steelers, Dolphins, and Bills.
Contact Balance 10/10
Receiving Threat 7.5/8
Change of Direction 5/5
Pass Protection 3.5/5
Final Rating: 94
Pro Comparison: Matt Forte RB Bears (retired)
Team Fits: Bills, Dolphins, and Steelers
Draft Ranking: Top 10 Pick
Draft Projection: Mid First Round Pick