Mel Kiper Jr. Explains Why Najee Harris is The Top Running Back
Since 2010, Alabama has had three running backs drafted in the first round, the most of any college program.
ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. appeared on SportsCenter Thursday to explain why Najee Harris is the top running back in this year’s draft.
“Love the kid. Love the way he competes, everything about Najee Harris,” said Kiper. “He’s a baller. All of these guys came back for a year not only to get better but win a national title. And they did both. I think when you look at Najee’s running style, patience, finishing of runs and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. And the ability to just always have great ball security. He fumbled against Ole Miss, but the whistle should’ve been blown.
“Guy never turns the ball over. He always credits his offensive line for his success and he loves to play the game,” said Kiper. Najee Harris is a complete running back. He’d look great in a Steelers uniform, a Buffalo Bills uniform somewhere in the late first round.”
As a junior in 2019, Harris became the lead back in Alabama's offense. He rushed for 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns and his seven receiving touchdowns were the most by running back in program history.
Harris returned to Tuscaloosa for his senior season and rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also added another 43 receptions for 425 yards and four scores through the air. Harris was named a unanimous All-American, won the Doak Walker Award and finished fifth in the Heisman voting.
He leaves Alabama as the school's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns (46), total touchdowns (57) and rushing yards (3,843). And 4,624 all-purpose yards rank second all-time at Alabama.