15.3 C
New York

Could Steelers RB Najee Harris win the NFL rushing title in 2022?


We all know that Najee Harris can carry the load, but is the Pittsburgh Steelers running back ready to win the NFL rushing title in 2022?

For the primary time since Le’Veon Bell’s final yr seeing the sector r Pittsburgh in 2017, the Steelers found a running back who can carry the load in addition to nearly anyone within the league. After taking former Alabama running back, Najee Harris, with the twenty fourth overall pick within the 2021 NFL Draft, we expected nothing less.

Harris weighed in at his Pro Day at 6’1 3/8” and 232 kilos; nonetheless, he admitted to his playing weight being even higher (roughly within the 240 range). Activate any random game of Najee and you will notice that he’s got ‘bell-cow’ written throughout him.

Despite being an older rookie with ample college experience, Harris still isn’t a finished product. His vision got here into query multiple times last season as he did not hit some big holes. Harris also proved that he still has a protracted option to go in each the receiving game (7 drops and just 5.0 yards per goal) and as a pass protector.

Regardless, that doesn’t change the undeniable fact that he should once more be among the many league leaders in touches in 2022. During his rookie season in 2021, Harris touched the ball 381 times, via Pro Football Reference — 307 of which were carries out of the backfield. Harris was second in carries only to the remarkable Jonathan Taylor (who toted the rock 332 times last yr).

How can Steelers RB earn the rushing title in 2022?

Najee Harris isn’t the favourite to win the NFL’s rushing title this season — nor should he be. While he gets loads of carries to provide himself a shot, there may be a giant factor that might keep him in need of this mark: his below-average rushing efficiency.

This clearly isn’t just on Najee himself. Though he missed some big opportunities last yr on occasion, he outplayed the unspectacular offensive line in front of him.

Put simply, to ensure that Harris to have a shot on the rushing title this yr, it’s going to take an enormous overall leap from the Steelers offensive line. The unit we saw in 2021 wasn’t ok to warrant an NFL rushing leader — irrespective of who would have been back there.

This group doesn’t need to be perfect, but they do need to play with way more consistency. Najee was hit at or behind the road of scrimmage far too often last season. In the event that they can clean up the run-blocking a bit in 2021, Najee could have a likelihood.

The opposite big factor here is health. There aren’t many running backs who’re awarded as many carries as Najee received as a rookie last season, and that number seems to maintain taking place. Teams are either attempting to deploy running backs by committee or preserve their best runners.

Ezekiel Elliot, for instance, received just 237 carries last yr — 70 fewer than Harris in the identical amount of games played. Likewise, top-10 rushers from a season ago like Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler, Damien Harris, and Nick Chubb each had fewer than 260 rushes in 2021.

If Najee Harris stays healthy for all 17 games, he could have a shot on the rushing title this yr, but he’ll have to be way more efficient on the bottom. His biggest competitors for the title are prone to be Jonathan Taylor, Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, and Derrick Henry. Harris finished 4th within the NFL in rushing last season.

Get the latest Sports Updates (Soccer, NBA, NFL, Hockey, Racing, etc.) and Breaking News From the United States, United Kingdom, and all around the world.

Related articles


Recent articles