2020 NFL Draft Watchlist: Running Backs

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TUSCALOOSA, AL – SEPTEMBER 29: Najee Harris #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes against the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

5) Najee Harris- Alabama

Najee Harris spent last year in a crowded backfield alongside Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs; both Harris and Jacobs were taken in the first three rounds of the 2019 draft.

Harris should see more carries this year, but don’t expect him to be a bell cow because Alabama likes to use multiple running backs. Since Harris spent most of his time sharing touches in 2018, he saw less production than some others listed after him, but the talent is there.

Harris is unofficially listed as 6’2″ 227 pounds. He doesn’t move like your typical big back though; he is extremely nimble and his athleticism is through the roof. Tennessee had to learn this the hard way when he hurdled one defender, trucked another, then stiff-armed the last defender, all in one play.
You can’t mention Harris’ name without mentioning his stiff arm. The stiff arm is one of his most utilized moves as well as his most successful. He does a good job using  it in multiple ways: keeping defenders off his legs after they attempt a knife tackle or using it in replacement of a juke move or the “truck stick.”
One of my favorite parts of his game is his ability to run zone and find the cutback lane. He does a really nice job of staying behind his blocks and then cutting back against the grain. You mix that vision with his ability to plant his foot and get upfield, and that’s an equation that equals big plays.
 If Harris gets the expected bump in touches in 2019, his production should increase as well as his position on big boards.

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