Week 5 Bama Pro of the Week: Najee Harris
Each week during the NFL regular season, I'll award one standout Alabama player of the week whose performance boosted his team to victory. The only criteria being his team must win. At the end of the season, I'll name the MVP and hand out a few other awards to recognize the excellence the Alabama Crimson Tide has present in the NFL.
With a league-best 55 (counting Jalen Hurts) active players under contract across 28 franchises, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here's this week's winner:
Najee Harris is the Week 5 Bama Pro of the Week for his crucial performance in the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-19 win over the Denver Broncos. Harris recorded his first 100-yard rushing performance in his young NFL career, going 122 yards on 23 carries with a touchdown.
Eclipsing the century mark and scoring a touchdown put Harris in elite company in Steelers history alongside another Harris. Najee's performance was the first of its kind in that regard for a Steelers rookie in his first five games since Franco Harris in 1972.
Najee also caught two passes for 20 yards, which keeps him in the lead for rookie receptions through the first five weeks of the 2021 season. His 505 yards from scrimmage is best for 10th in the NFL and tops among all rookies as well.
The Steelers drafted Harris with the 24th overall pick in April's draft after finishing last in rushing after the 2020 season. Due to offensive line struggles, the Pittsburgh offense had sputtered on the ground entering Week 5 against the Broncos.
Denver sported a stiff run defense, but Harris's o-line had its best performance of the young season and opened holes for the Crimson Tide's all-time rushing leader to a career day.
It's the first of many for Harris. After the Black & Gold rode Harris to victory this week, watch for Mike Tomlin to look for his stallion back to continue to lead his offense.
Harris and the Steelers will host the Seattle Seahawks, which roster no Alabama alumni, next Sunday night.
And now for our honorable mentions:
- Daron Payne, Washington: Three tackles, one for loss, one sack and a fumble recovery.
- Jalen Hurts, Eagles: 22-37 passing for 198 yards, one interception with nine carries for 30 yards and two touchdowns
- Derrick Henry, Titans: 29 carries for 130 yards and three touchdowns
- Trevon Diggs, Cowboys: Five tackles and two pass breakups, including an interception.
Be sure to tune back into tide1009.com each Tuesday to see the Bama Pro of the Week throughout the NFL season. Here's each winner from the 2021 season so far: