Najee Harris Doesn't Want to Be Compared to NFL RBs: 'I Bring My Own Game'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2021

Alabama running back Najee Harris (22) reacts to his touchdown against Florida during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Alabama running back Najee Harris said he's not a fan of being compared to current or past NFL players leading up to the 2021 draft. 

Harris explained his mindset on the NFL Network's Move the Sticks (via 247Sports' Austin Nivison):

"Matt Forte is a legend for sure, but I don't see me as Matt Forte. I've heard all types of things. I've heard Derrick Henry, of course. I don't know why. Me, personally? Yeah, if I could compare myself to somebody, it's me. I don't get it. Like, I understand it's peoples' jobs to do the comparison and things like that. But, I mean, there is no comparison. Not to be—you can say what anybody want, but I'm my own person. I bring my own game to the thing. I mean, like, we live in a society where everybody loves to do comparisons. I mean, one person I love watching always was Adrian Peterson. I mean, that's one guy I love."

Harris and Clemson's Travis Etienne are the most likely candidates to become the first running back off the board when the draft kicks off April 29. Both of them could be selected in the second half of Round 1.

The Crimson Tide standout scored 50 total touchdowns (39 rushing and 11 receiving) across his final two college seasons. He also averaged six yards per carry across four years at Bama.

Harris was already a rising prospect early in his college career thanks to his versatile abilities in the ground game, picking up tough yards between the tackles but also having the speed to get on the edge, but he really rounded out his skill set over the final two years with contributions in the passing game.

Running backs don't tend to be selected as early as they were in the past—Peterson was the seventh overall pick in the 2007 draft—but Harris could come off the board as early as the teens or early 20s.

He'll try to translate the high-end talent he showed at Alabama into his own story at the NFL level.