Could the Miami Dolphins go after Najee Harris from Alabama at number 18?
The Dolphins haven’t drafted a running back in the 1st or 2nd round since Daniel Thomas in 2011. We haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Jay Ajayi’s one-year-wonder of a season in 2016. Fans are tired of the annual committee backfield purgatory.
Malcolm Brown, Myles Gaskin, and Salvon Ahmed are complementary pieces at best. The strategy of banking on mid-round RBs has paid off for some teams. While noble, it hasn’t worked for Miami. Najee Harris would bring an end to mediocrity.
Another jack-of-all-trades at his position, Harris accumulated 1,466 yards rushing and 425 yards receiving to go along with 30 total TDs. He saved his best for last, racking up 580 yards from scrimmage and 8 TDs in Alabama’s three postseason games.
At 6’2”, 230 lbs., Harris is a slightly smaller version of Derrick Henry but with added agility, blocking acumen, and receiving chops. He has shown to be not just a last resort check-down option, but a legitimate weapon in space.
The Doak Walker award winner has a knack for squeezing the most out of each touch, via juking defenders in space, running through them, and even hurdling. Harris’ 33 broken tackles after the catch since 2018 is the most of any college running back.
The one knock on him is his top-end speed, lacking that coveted fifth gear. Several of the best backs of the last decade lacked this as well: Le’Veon Bell, Arian Foster, Nick Chubb and Marshawn Lynch come to mind. Harris consistently racks up 5 and 10-yard body blows for three quarters, to then hit knock-out punches down the stretch. He is an every-down back who would instantly bolster the run game, easing the load off Tua.