Najee Harris is expected to be the first or second running back off the board when the NFL Draft rolls around late next month. As a result, he passed on the chance to participate in Alabama's Pro Day.
Harris is coming off of a huge senior season with the Crimson Tide. He carried the ball 251 times for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns, and added 425 receiving yards and four scores as a receiver. It was an impressive follow-up to his 1,224 yard/13 touchdown junior season.
Just because he no longer plays at Alabama, and he didn't feel the need to go through drills in Tuscaloosa, doesn't mean he's done being a good teammate. Harris, who has been in Dallas, planned to fly back to Alabama to support the other members of the Crimson Tide as they work out today.
When his flight into Birmingham on Monday night was canceled due to lightning in the area, Najee Harris got in his car and made the nine-hour drive to Tuscaloosa instead. It's an impressive move, and while he may not take the chance to show scouts what he can do on the field, it may make an impact on how the view him as a potential locker room presence. The Crimson Tide players taking part today have to appreciate the gesture as well.
Harris won't be the only NFL Draft hopeful sitting things out on the field today. Heisman winner DeVonta Smithwon't go through drills today either. There are still plenty of talented future NFL players participating however, headlined by quarterback Mac Jones, who played his way into the heart of the first-round conversation with his huge 2020 season. He'll look to keep the momentum going. Harris, meanwhile, is projected to go in the late first or early second round of April's NFL Draft. He and Clemson's Travis Etienne are the favorites to be the first running backs off the board. Alabama football's Pro Day began a few minutes ago, at noon ET. It is being broadcast on SEC Network. [
Alabama RB Najee Harris’ flight from Dallas to Birmingham was cancelled last night due to lightning, so with no other travel options available, Harris drove nine hours to make it to Alabama’s Pro Day by 10 am today. He’s not even working out today but wanted to support teammates.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 23, 2021