Steelers Best First-Round Fit: Najee Harris is 'Next Franco Harris'

Former NFL/NCAA head coach Jim Mora explains why Najee Harris fixes the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive issues.
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PITTSBURGH -- It's pretty obvious the Pittsburgh Steelers will set out to fix their run game in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

Whether that starts with a running back or offensive lineman is still up for debate, but some experts have an idea of what's to come. AllSteelers sat down with former college and NFL head coach Jim Mora to discuss the Steelers' top prospects with the 24th overall pick, and he's somewhat certain there's an obvious choice at the end of the first round. 

"If Alabama's Najee Harris is there, that he's the perfect fit for the Pittsburgh Steelers," Mora said. "He's the next Franco Harris, Le'Veon Bell."

Harris's college career was highlighted by a phenomenal senior season, accumulating 30 total touchdowns (26 rushing) and 1,466 yards on the ground. 

Mora pointed to Harris as a person for what makes him the best fit for the Steelers, though.  

"The thing that stands out to me about Najee is his character," Mora said. "He's a high character individual and I think the Pittsburgh Steelers are an organization and the Rooneys are a family that have always put an emphasis on that. He fits the mold of the type of player that Mike Tomlin would like to populate his roster with."

Growing up a Steelers fan, Mora knows there's always been a consistency in what makes Pittsburgh the city of champions. 

"The word that comes to mind when I think of the Pittsburgh Steelers, probably the word that comes to mind for most people, and that's toughness," he said. "And Najee Harris brings an element of toughness that's pretty special."

Mora has scouted Harris since the running back's sophomore year in high school. A California native, Harris has turned himself into a unanimous All-American and likely the top running back taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.

"He's a tough guy. He's gritting. He demands a lot from his players, but he's fair," Mora said. "Najee is a guy who can come in and fit into that locker room very quickly. He's garner the respect of the veterans because he knows when to keep his mouth closed, he knows when to speak up, he's respectful."

And if the Steelers have the opportunity to draft the Alabama running back, this former head coach says they should.

"At 24, if Najee Harris is sitting there, most of us anticipate that they'll take Najee."

Noah Strackbein is a Publisher with AllSteelers. Follow Noah on Twitter @NoahStrack, and AllSteelers @si_steelers.