- The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Alabama running back Najee Harris with the 24th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
- Now, odds are available for the rookie including -120 odds for him to have over 8.5 rushing or receiving touchdowns this season.
PITTSBURGH, Penn. – The Pittsburgh Steelers made one of the most exciting moves during this past NFL Draft when they selected Alabama Crimson Tide running back Najee Harris with the 24th overall pick.
Many pundits criticized the move to select a running back in the first round, but Pittsburgh believes that a talent like Harris only comes around once in a generation.
This was the first running back taken in the first round for the Steelers since 2008 when they selected Rashard Mendenhall with the 23rd pick.
Now, Harris will join alongside JuJu Smith-Schuster and Ben Roethlisberger as the pillars of the Steeler offense.
Those looking to bet on the immediate future of Harris can find new season props available at all of the major Super Bowl sportsbooks.
Najee Harris Rushing and Receiving TDs
- Over 8.5 TD's -120
- Under 8.5 TD's -120
The line for Harris’ touchdowns in his first season is set at 8.5, a lofty number for any rookie looking to make an impact. This number suggests that bookies expect Harris to become a pivotal part of the Steeler offense early in the season. While giving a rookie running back that kind of responsibility is risky, Harris isn’t your average rookie rusher.
In four years at Alabama, Harris scored 57 touchdowns from scrimmage, including 30 in his senior year in which he led the Crimson Tide to the National Championship.
Harris has a unique ability to bruise opponents on the inside while also possessing breakaway speed. He also has a tendency to break tackles, forcing 93 missed tackles in 2020 alone. That number led all of FBS for any position.
A few of those missed tackles came through the air, as Harris likes to hurdle opponents at the most opportune times.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 1, 2021
While Harris might not be able to do the same against NFL defenses, he has the ability to get into the endzone often for the Steelers.
The starting running back in 2020 James Connor is now an Arizona Cardinal, leaving Harris as a plug-and-play option next to Benny Snell Jr.
While it could come down to touches, it isn’t farfetched to image Harris being granted the primary role within the first three games.
Najee Harris Rushing Yards
- Over 975 Rushing Yards -120
- Under 975 Rushing Yards -120
In terms of rushing yards, nearing 1000 for a rookie is also quite lofty. In 2020 for Alabama, Harris ran for 1466 yards in just 13 games, for an average of over 100 a game.
Harris’s physicality and grace are what make him so unique, a sentiment that Steeler legend Jerome Bettis agrees with.
"I thought it was a great pick. I thought it showed their commitment to getting back to running the football," said Bettis to Ed Bouchette of The Athletic. "In order to definitively run the football, you have to have a hammer and they went out and got a hammer, and now they're able to philosophically do some of the things they weren't able to do."
If Harris is given the green light early in the season, he could easily rack up over 975 yards as long as the Steelers are able to balance their offense in the passing game.
Overall, betting the over for Harris seems like the play for early Super Bowl bettors.