If Najee Harris were to fall to the Buccaneers, they need to snatch him up.
With the madness of the sports world shifting away from the NFL offseason and onto the college basketball court (for now), there hasn’t been much to move the needle when it comes to free agency. In the case of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they’ve already checked off pretty much all of the boxes on their agenda, so it’s time to look ahead to the Draft.
With that said, University of Alabama running back Najee Harris is a name that the Buccaneers need to keep on their radar. He would be the perfect fit for the Buccaneers in their fit to defend their crown. Harris is a big, bruising running back that is also multi-talented the likes of which have become the norm for the Crimson Tide the last decade. Harris isn’t exactly Derrick Henry, but he isn’t Trent Richardson either. Harris will definitely be in the upper echelon of Saban-coached running backs to come from that school when it comes to their NFL careers. As fate would have it, there’s an excellent chance he can fall to the Buccaneers with the 32nd (and final) pick in the first round of the draft.
Harris is the kind of bruising back that Buccaneers fans have fallen in love with since the dawn of time. Well, since the 1970s at the very least. Sure, the Buccaneers have a surprisingly rich history when it comes to ball carriers, but the most popular are the ones who carry the rock with something to prove thanks to a hard-nosed style. LeGarrette Blount was immensely popular in his cup of coffee in Tampa, but by far the most popular is Mike Alstott, and Harris would be the carry
that torch with great aplomb. Leonard Fournette’s Pokemon-like evolution to “Playoff Lenny” that endeared him in the hearts of Bucs fans until the end of time was due in large part to his running style.
Speaking of Lenny, the selection of Harris may spell the end of Fournette’s time in Tampa. As memorable as his playoff run was, the NFL is a business at the end of the day. It’s always a safer option to draft a running back than break the bank in free agency. That’s not saying Fournette would be expensive to bring back, but unfortunately with running backs you just never know how long the wheels are going to stay on. By that same token, drafting one is always a risk as well. Temas are finally starting to realize that spending a high draft pick on a back, no matter how talented, isn’t the best option for building a team.
Fortunately, the Buccaneers are neither rebuilding nor have a high draft pick. Rome is already built, so to speak, and if the Buccaneers want to keep it that way, they need to re-load. They’ve already re-signed key pieces, now it’s time to re-load with new ones. Using the last pick in the first round on Harris should he slip, as opposed to trading back, would be the best-case scenario. Some help on the defensive line is always an option, but with Shaq Barrett coming back running back is definitely the biggest team need at this present moment. Harris would also compliment the other backs currently on the roster brilliantly due to his unique skill set of being able to do it all.
The Buccaneers are already favorites to repeat as champions and stay on top of the mountain, should they be fortunate enough to land Najee Harris in the draft, they should stay there a lot longer.