The Steelers have their guy. Pittsburgh has officially signed first-round pick running back Najee Harris to his rookie contract, the team announced Tuesday.
It’ll be a four-year deal worth a fully guaranteed $13.1MM for the 24th overall pick. Harris will collect a signing bonus of $6.85MM. Harris to the Steelers was one of the most buzzed about connections leading up to the draft, and the rumors turned out to be accurate. He was the first running back off the board, taken one pick before Clemson’s Travis Etienne.
Pittsburgh was widely expected to draft a runner early, as they’ve emphasized the need for a revamped ground game after they got nothing from their rushing attack in 2020. They let James Conner walk in free agency, and opted for the former Alabama star to replace him.
Harris will slot in as the team’s immediate starter, and the Steelers are reportedly planning on having him play a big role as a pass-catcher. The California native rushed for a ridiculous 26 touchdowns last season, and averaged at least 5.8 yards per carry in all four of his college seasons.
He’ll now be lining up behind and next to Ben Roethlisberger, at least for one season. Harris has the talent to be a top back in the league, the question now is how the Steelers’ new-look offensive line will perform.