20 Sep 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

Summer Scouting Notes: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

10/26/19 MFB vs Arkansas Najee Harris Photo by Robert Sutton Photo by Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics

Senor | 6’2” 230 lbs | March 9, 1998 | Antioch, CA

A violent sledgehammer power back who doubles as a pass catching asset

Najee Harris has been a member and eventual leader of Alabama’s back-by-committee power-zone approach for the past three seasons. Harris was touted as a five-star prospect in high school, and was ranked as the No. 1 overall running back and No. 2 overall player in the class of 2017 by 247 sports. He runs upright, had broad shoulders and thick, long legs, and possesses a rare combination of power and pass catching prowess.

Strengths:

  • Rarely ever taken down on first contact
  • Patient behind the LOS. Shows trust in his blockers
  • Legitimate weapon as a receiver. Routinely takes advantage of LBs in the flat
  • Runs sharp routes when he’s the primary or secondary option
  • Straight up throws defenders to the ground with his stiff arm
  • Above average long speed for a back his size
  • Polished, efficient footwork
  • Minimal tread on his tires for a multi-year contributor
  • Stonewalls blitzing linebackers

Areas to improve:

  • Can get tunnel vision and miss cutback lanes
  • Seeks contact in the open field rather than heading for open space
  • Uses an array of jukes and cuts, but they’re seldom effective
  • Heavy-footed with average quick-twitch acceleration. Can’t just plant-and-go
  • Inconsistent effort when he isn’t directly involved on the play

Injury concerns: N/A

Way too early projection:

Harris projects as a downhill power back who thrives in a power-running scheme and cashes in on goal line and short yardage situations. He’s also one of the rare power backs who can made a legitimate positive contribution as bother a pass catcher and pass blocker. He will likely be mid day 2 selection on draft night and should become a high-end running back-by-committee member as a rookie.

What to watch in 2020:

Over the course of the 2019 season Harris showed serious improvement as a pass catcher and became more decisive as runner. With that level of improvement, many expected him to declare for the draft as a junior, but he must have a list of things to improve on before he leaves Tuscaloosa. It will be interesting to monitor whether or not he can improve his ball carrier vision and consistency with effort.

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