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NFL draft: Steelers ignore OL needs, take Alabama RB Najee Harris with 24th pick

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It's a chicken-or-egg question: Does it make sense to invest in a running back when you have a bad offensive line? 

The Pittsburgh Steelers think so. 

The Steelers, whose offensive line has fallen into disrepair this offseason, did what everyone thought they'd do and took Alabama running back Najee Harris with the 24th overall pick. The Jacksonville Jaguars followed up that pick by taking Clemson running back Travis Etienne with the 25th pick. 

Just because everyone seemed to have the Steelers' pick figured out weeks ago doesn't mean it was the best possible move, especially since Pittsburgh might not be able to block for him. 

The Steelers fell apart late last season for many reasons. One was that they could not run the ball. Maybe Harris fixes that issue, and takes some pressure off Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger, back from major elbow surgery, struggled late in the season to throw the ball. 

The Steelers had to help Roethlisberger somehow. Most teams have devalued running back, not because running backs don't matter, but it's much easier to find viable backs in the late rounds of the draft and most of them have short peaks. 

Pittsburgh didn't feel that way. They could have helped the offensive line and waited on running back until later. We'll soon find out if Harris is the impact back the Steelers obviously believe he is. 

Alabama running back Najee Harris (22) went with the 24th pick to the Steelers. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Alabama running back Najee Harris (22) went with the 24th pick to the Steelers. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

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