What ESPN's Todd McShay says about whether Alabama football's Najee Harris is a first-round draft pick

James Fletcher
The Tuscaloosa News
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ESPN analyst Todd McShay said Monday that Alabama football running back Najee Harris has  solidified himself as a first-rounder in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Harris returned to Alabama for his senior season in 2020 after receiving feedback from NFL scouts and advisors in the winter.

"I think he did wonders for his draft stock with the past year," said McShay. "Just the way he competed and how aggressive he was as a runner."

Harris had 1,528 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior, becoming the primary option after sharing duties with NFL running backs Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs in his first two seasons.

Many analysts said that despite his breakout year, Harris did not possess the speed needed to succeed in the NFL.

In 2020, Harris finished the season with 1,466 rushing yards and 425 receiving yards with 30 total touchdowns.

He finished fifth in Heisman voting with 216 points, including 16 first place votes.

"I was so impressed with the improvement the past year," said McShay. "He really improved his draft stock."

At 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Harris is one of the biggest running backs in the class.

He did not run the 40-yard dash at Alabama's Pro Day, reportedly due to a healing ankle.

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McShay has Harris being taken No. 24 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in his latest mock draft and has him ranked as the 22nd-best prospect on the board with a grade of 90.

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