Steelers eyeing Najee Harris, Zaven Collins with pick No. 24

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If you’re an NFL team that wants either running back Najee Harris or linebacker Zaven Collins on Thursday night and you pick below No. 24 in round one, you may need to trade up.

A source with knowledge of the dynamics driving the 2021 draft tells PFT that the Steelers are expected to take Harris or Collins, if either is there. The Cardinals are expected to take Collins at No. 16, if cornerbacks Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn and receiver Jaylen Waddle are gone.

If both are there, we’ll see who they take. Collins could be the choice, given that plenty of other running backs can be found in later rounds of the draft.

The one and only PFT mock draft has North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance falling to No. 24, and the Steelers taking him. If he’s indeed there, it could be tempting to try to secure Ben Roethlisberger‘s successor. To get the most out of what could be Roethlisberger’s last year, the Steelers would be better off getting a running back with the kind of impact that Franco Harris had in 1972.

The Steelers have used 24 first-round picks on running backs or fullbacks. Since the merger, the Steelers have used a first-round pick on five running backs: Harris, Greg Hawthorne in 1979, Walter Abercrombie in 1982, Tim Worley in 1989, and Rashard Mendenhall in 2008.

23 responses to “Steelers eyeing Najee Harris, Zaven Collins with pick No. 24

  1. If they draft Collins i can see him going to hof. He could play either inside or outside linebacker in their 3-4. But him opposite Watt would be a disaster for opposing qbs.

    If i was a fan in the afc north i would be hoping they dont get Collins.

  2. As a Bengals fan, I’d hate to see them get Zaven Collins and be thrilled to see them grab a running back.

  3. No matter who the Steelers want, the Cleveland Browns will trade up a few spots and select Harris or Collins

  4. The nuances of the NFL draft make it a fascinating experience for the fan. Hope springs eternal that this draft is the one that either turns things around for a loser or sustains success for a winner. Billionaire owners hire the best scouts and evaluators but often make the final choice or choices themselves. After all this evaluation and mock drafts many leaks are reported about who a team is taking or a health concern or a behavior concern but they are never reported with a source. Is it the agent trying to hurt another player to benefit their client? is it the team trying to set-up a smokescreen to initiate a trade? Who knows? The reality is it is all a complete gamble. An undrafted free-agent QB can lead a team to a superbowl and go to the hall of fame or a number one overall pick and one of the highest rated QBs of all-time can have an injury plagued career and retire early. Oh, and then their is Tom Brady. For some reason I don’t necessarily believe the leaks or even think they matter at all!

  5. Of course The National Media and their East Coast bias would love to see Najee Harris going to the Steelers and Justin Fields going to the NewEngland Patriots. Did they forget that their are 31 other teams picking in this years draft ?4

  6. The rumors and speculation are flying at this point. Probably best not to pay too much attention?

  7. touchback6 says:
    April 28, 2021 at 8:59 am


    Pitt is so dumb to let stuff like this get out.
    They probably didn’t. Most draft rumors are just noise & time filler. Nobody who matters is leaking info to the media unless it is meant as a smoke screen.

  8. The Steelers have greater needs: center and left tackle. Solidify the O line before anything else.

  9. This in no way shape or form will be Bens last yr, it will be the first of a 1 yr deal that is done for the next 3 seasons. Najee Harris, sign Eric Fisher, draft a corner in the 2nd and their off to the Superbowl.

  10. This is just smoke. Teams pick players that fit their needs first…..not what another team will do. It’s pretty silly to think an unnamed source will sway a GM with his credibility on the line.

  11. Rusty is gonna have a tough time of it when Belichick goes 3-13 without Brady.

  12. Smokescreen time… Although both picks make perfect sense. The Steelers have no offensive line. How can you run the ball or protect a senior citizen QB without an O-line? I see them picking an offensive tackle. With that being said, they will always pick the highest graded player on their board regardless of the position. The Steelers are so good at keeping their cards close to their vest. Any talk about who they are drafting is pure speculation or a deliberate leak to create a giant smokescreen. I am a Ravens fan and I respect the Steelers organization for doing things the right way. They will pick the Best player available. Period.

  13. Pitt is so dumb to let stuff like this get out.

    Unless, of course, they INTENDED for this to get out.

  14. Steelers do have needs at LB and RB, but not as great as OL – especially as immobile as Big Ben is at this stage of his career.

  15. I can see the Steelers drafting a QB if one of the 5 falls, but it would be malpractice to draft an RB or LB in the first. The Offensive Line is just bad. There is a reason why the Steelers were last in rushing.

  16. The Steelers should take Najee Harris then in round 2 try getting Landon Dickerson. That offense could be very good if they do take Harris. He’s a Steeler RB in the Franco, Bettis, Mendenhall, Connor mold. Plus, it gives Ben another receiving threat our of the backfield. Harris is an underrated receiver.

  17. Harris will be gone by 24 and a LB in the 1st rd is not a luxury they can afford. I believe an O lineman or CB will fall to them unexpectedly. Those needs are greater, as much as I like Harris. They won’t settle on Etienne there, either.

  18. How about an offensive lineman instead? They couldn’t run the ball and Ben could only throw it 5 yards.

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