The one player the Ravens don’t want their rivals to take is today’s NFL Draft spotlight:
Pittsburgh Steelers- Najee Harris, running back (Alabama)
The Baltimore Ravens’ main rival will always be the Pittsburgh Steelers so let’s talk Steelers first. The Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t a good running football team last season. The Steelers averaged 3.6 yards per rushing attempt and too often seemed disinterested in running the football. For all the flack the Ravens get for running it too much the Steelers seldom get enough criticism for their aversion to the ground game.
Going back even to the beginning of the Ben Roethlisberger era, the Steelers have always been their best when a star running back was front and center. Jerome Bettis, Willie Parker, and Le’Veon Bell come to mind.
The Steelers haven’t quite been the same since the departure of Bell. Back when the Steelers were led by the “Killer Bee’s” Ben, Bell, and Antonio Brown, they were possibly the most dynamic offense in the NFL. The Steelers’ problems don’t come solely from the lack of star power in the running back rotation, however, it’s a major factor.
Najee Harris would be the perfect fix for their problems. Drafting the Alabama running back would give them a player just as dynamic as Bell was in his prime days in Pittsburgh. Harris would fit into the offense in the passing game but would give the Steelers the pop they currently don’t have.
That could be the key to getting the best out of Roethlisberger in the 2021 season. The aging quarterback can’t sling it around the field constantly and sustain himself for the end of the year when the games get important.
The Steelers have a lot of things going for them defensively, in fact, that is where a bulk of their talent is. Roethlisberger had 33 touchdown passes last year. The magic may not be in full force, but he hasn’t lost his touch. Going to the running game more is essential for Roethlisberger to maximize what he has left in the tank.
Harris is obviously the best running back in this draft class. He’s got all the tools and then some. His production with the Crimson Tide is off the charts and he helps in both the run and the passing game. He could be what Alvin Kamara was for Drew Brees for Big Ben’s final chapter. The Ravens don’t need that headache. The AFC doesn’t need that headache.