3 reasons why Steelers won’t draft Alabama RB Najee Harris

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Allison Koehler
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The 2021 NFL draft is still four months out, and the bottom half of what team picks where is still undecided, but mock drafts are in full swing. Ryan Wilson, who covers the NFL and the draft for CBS Sports, recently mocked Alabama running back Najee Harris to the Steelers.

I’ve been a proponent of the Steelers drafting a running back high since Le’Veon Bell flew the coop, but they’re just not going to do it — and here are three reasons why.

Harris will be off the board

Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports

Currently, Harris is projected as the No. 2 running back after Clemson's Travis Etienne, a first- or second-round selection. In his 20-year history with the Steelers, general manager Kevin Colbert has only taken a running back higher than the third round twice: Rashard Mendenall, 23rd overall, in 2008, and Le'Veon Bell, 48th overall, in 2013. Where Colbert likes to take his RBs, Harris be long gone. And don't even think about Pittsburgh trading up to get him -- picks will be at a premium, especially for a cash-strapped Steelers team who will have a ton of needs.

Pittsburgh has more pressing needs

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

A running back is only as good as his offensive line, and the Steelers line is the worst in the league at run-blocking. Before they take a running back high, they need to rebuild that unit (seven will hit free agency in March) with players who can effectively run block. They're off to a good start with guard Kevin Dotson, and will likely be looking for a tackle with their first or second pick.

Randy doesn't like to run

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner has a propensity for passing -- 1,811 air attempts to 1,093 on the ground during his tenure. Although his current contract expires this offseason, it's hard to imagine Fichtner getting his walking papers before Ben Roethlisberger retires. Harris will go to a team who knows how to use him effectively and, right now, the Steelers aren't that team.

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