LOOK: Najee Harris’ Top Plays from Rookie Season
Najee Harris was sensational in his rookie season for the Steelers, finishing the year with 1,200 rushing yards and nearly 500 as a receiver and cementing his place as a key piece for Pittsburgh's future plans.
While there is a massive question looming at the quarterback position with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, Harris is already one of the league's most exciting backs heading into just his second season and appears ready to shoulder the offense if necessary.
With the offseason in full swing and football reaching its yearly lull for most casual fans (except for those of us insane enough to follow the draft), the NFL chose to remind everyone just how impressive Harris' rookie year was, posting the top 10 plays of his first season in the league.
On this play, in a matchup against the Chicago Bears in Week 9, Harris somehow found a way through the defense and picked up a big gain on first down. Despite being much larger than the typical running back build, Harris has deceptive elusiveness and elite vision to cut through defenders regularly.
Against the Bengals in Week 3, although down by a few scores, Harris fought hard for extra yardage, bringing some passengers along with him. Not only did Harris drag a full-grown man like a suitcase behind him, that defender hanging off his hips is none other than 6-foot-5, 265 lb. Sam Hubbard.
Taking on the Cleveland Browns in a divisional matchup in Week 8, Harris showed his athleticism on a touchdown run where he was forced to go over the top of a defender to reach the endzone. Many Bama fans likely remember Harris' knack for hurdling defenders in his time in Crimson.
In another divisional matchup, this time in Week 18, Harris made a one-handed grab on a short pass from Big Ben and immediately side-stepped an oncoming defender, creating a first down out of what looked like nothing. Defenders often misjudge Harris' ability to make people miss in the open field, leading to many examples of him doing so.
Once again, Harris makes something out of nothing. In this Week 16 game against the Chiefs, Harris took a handoff from Big Ben and after seeing what was ahead of him, bounced to the outside for a big gain.
In the same Week 16 matchup, Harris showcased his leaping ability, embarrassing a would-be tackler by jumping right over his head and converting a much-needed first down. In a situation where Pittsburgh was down big and in need of a momentum play, Harris stepped up for his team.
In Week 2 against the Raiders, Harris channeled his inner Derrick Henry and summoned a stiff arm that looked straight out of the WWE. After meeting the defender at the sideline, Harris sized Jonathan Abrams up and delivered a shot to his chest that left him sailing backward.
Again, in the same Week 2 matchup with the Raiders, Harris made the silver and black look silly, taking a simple underneath pass all the way to the house for six. Though nearly caught at the goal line, the 6-foot-1 back was able to stretch out and secure the touchdown with ease.
Taking on the Browns again, this time in the final game of the season, Harris delivered another voracious stiff arm that looked like something out of Triple H's playbook and sent a defender hurling back to the ground.
In what would turn out to be one of Big Ben's last ever plays at Heinz Field, Harris burst through the line with a head of steam and left no question as to whether or not the Steelers would be leaving with a win in the legendary quarterback's final home game.
The future is bright indeed for the Crimson Tide legend whose career has just begun. As the NFL Draft approaches, the Steelers can rest easy knowing they can keep running back off of their team needs list.