When one glances across the NFL panorama, there are all kinds of runners, some explosive like Dalvin Cook and Saquon Barkley, after which there are some extra plodding varieties, like Pittsburgh’s very personal Najee Harris. At 244 kilos, he used to be by no means considered as the kind of again to tear off the 60- or 70- backyard runs in Pittsburgh’s offense. No, he used to be considered as extra of a Swiss Army Knife/energy again with certain, cushy fingers and a penchant for now not coughing up the ball. But is he simply “pedestrian” as NFL Films manufacturer Greg Cosell categorised him lately by the use of Buffalo Bills reliable YouTube channel?
“I may be in the minority, and this is all film study, but I went back this summer and I watched seven games of Najee Harris and I gotta tell you, I think Najee Harris is kind of a pedestrian NFL back,” Cosell mentioned. “He’s big, he’s powerful, but he doesn’t have any juice. I had a great conversation with Fred Taylor at the combine about five years ago, and he gave me a phrase that I use now when I evaluate backs and that’s the ability to re-accelerate in confined space and Najee Harris can’t do that.”
Cosell then went directly to record a stat that no less than up to now in Harris’ quick Steelers profession seems to be true, and that’s that 2nd tools that numerous backs have to tug clear of defenders. We noticed it remaining season in Ben Roethlisberger’s ultimate house sport, as Harris ran for a career-high 188 yards, together with a dagger 37-yard TD run past due within the fourth to really ice the sport. Cosell went again to Harris’ sport tape at Alabama, and seemed on the 500+ carries that he had there, and printed that most effective six went for positive factors of 25 or extra yards.
The blocking off in entrance of Harris does play an element on this as neatly. The offensive line recently in entrance of him does Harris no favors, and despite the fact that the unit seems to be bettering on a week-to-week foundation, the run blocking off nonetheless has far to move.
“Of course a lot of people say, ‘Well, gee, if he played behind a good o-line,’” Cosell mentioned. “Well, I think the point is if most backs played behind a really good o-line, they’d probably gain yards. I think Najee Harris is a powerful, physical, competitive grinder. There’s no real explosive, big play element to his running style. I’m not sure he’s a true foundation back that you can lean on.”
The Steelers went in opposition to the grain remaining offseason after they took the Harris within the first spherical. At occasions this yr, his backup Jaylen Warren has seemed like he used to be shot out of a cannon out of the backfield. However, I don’t assume he’s in a position to being a real NFL workhorse, as his stature merely isn’t constructed to withhold the punishment. Harris, indexed at 6-foot-2 and 244 kilos, for sure suits the invoice. And with rookie Kenny Pickett now beneath heart, the run sport comes again into center of attention greater than ever. We all know what Harris is in a position to, as regardless of the blocking off in entrance of him remaining season, he ran for 1,200 yards and a three.9 YPC, most commonly growing yards on his personal.
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