The Jets upgraded the receiving corps through free agency. Could they upgrade the running back room in the first round?
- RB, Alabama
- 6-foot-2, 229 pounds
- Second-team All-SEC in 2019
- First-team All-SEC in 2020
- Unanimous All-American in 2020
- Doak Walker Award-winner for the top running back in college football in 2020
- 2019 Stats (13 games): 1,224 rushing yards (5.9 yards per carry), 13 touchdowns; 27 receptions, 304 yards, seven touchdowns
- 2020 Stats (13 games): 1,466 rushing yards (5.8 yards per carry), 26 touchdowns; 43 receptions, 425 yards, four touchdowns
How Najee Harris would Benefit the Jets
The Jets already boosted the talent in and around the receiving corps this offseason, signing both Corey Davis and Keelan Cole. However, the running back position still carries some question marks.
Is La’Mical Perine ready to take on the role as the team’s top back? Is Tevin Coleman going to be consistently reliable even within Mike LaFleur’s offense?
The Jets could fix the issue with their No. 23 overall pick and select Alabama’s Najee Harris, who was a dominant back at the collegiate level and carries great size, strength, power, and speed.
Not only would Harris increase the talent level within the Jets offense, but he’d additionally assist in the development of whoever plays quarterback. Whether it’s Sam Darnold or Zach Wilson under center in Florham Park, that young player will need help around him in order to succeed — Harris could provide that required assistance.
Najee Harris Film Room Notes
Harris and Alabama’s January 2021 win over Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game (15 carries, 125 yards (8.3 yards per carry); four receptions, 30 yards)
Harris shows off great pass-catching abilities on this first play, reeling in the reception out of the backfield, showing patience, finding space towards the first-down marker, and using his true power to gain extra yardage.
Najee’s superb vision is on display here; he quickly locates the hole en route to a productive first-down run.
Harris makes chicken salad in this clip, turning what could’ve been a broken play and a loss of yardage into a humongous gain.
How does he do it?
He just keeps his eyes up, locates space around the outside, and his athleticism and speed do the rest (an awesome hurdle move is included as well).
This was an NFL-type play from a first-round talent.
Harris remains patient on these two plays, taking time to set up his blockers and finding the correct hole en route to a decent gain.
Harris and Alabama’s October 2020 win over Ole Miss (23 carries, 206 yards (9.0 yards per carry), five touchdowns; three receptions, 42 yards)
Early in the game, Harris just runs a simple pass pattern, but the key is that he runs it beyond the first-down marker in an attempt to ensure he’ll move the sticks once he reels in the football.
Scouts will love this play from Harris; he implements great patience to set up his blockers and find the hole, and once he does, his power and strength take over until he ultimately hits the turf.
You’re not going to succeed as an NFL back if you’re easy to bring down. Harris obviously isn’t and proves that on this play, implementing a number of moves towards a first-down run.
A rare play here that scouts won’t like — Harris must hold onto the football until the play has officially concluded.
Just a quick and simple move from Harris here to correctly set up his blockers. He’s patient and takes advantage of the situation when the hole opens up and the play develops.
Lining up in the pistol formation behind quarterback Mac Jones and then alongside Jones in the shotgun on these two plays, Harris’ vision, speed, and athleticism to get to the end zone lead to touchdowns for the Crimson Tide.
And finally, in a clutch situation, Harris seals the victory for the Crimson Tide by quickly locating the hole and letting his speed do the rest.