Najee Harris would be the perfect pick for the Dolphins at No. 18

The Dolphins will be in the running back market this offseason, and Najee Harris is an ideal choice with their second first-round pick

Najee Harris, Dolphins, NFL Draft, NFL, Buccaneers
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins missed the playoffs in 2020, but a 10-6 finish makes them a team on the rise. Last season’s focus with their cap space was defense, and the results followed (No. 6 scoring defense in the league).

This offseason, it’s the offense’s turn for the Dolphins to put their assets toward. They’ll have plenty of cap space again, and two first-round picks. Wide receiver and running back stand out as spots that will be addressed this offseason.

With the signing of Jordan Howard and a trade for Matt Breida last offseason, the Dolphins surely thought their rushing attack would be better. But both disappointed, leaving Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed to step in. Miami ended up with the league’s 22nd-ranked rushing attack, while averaging a dismal 3.9 yards per carry (29th).

In his recent four-round mock draft, Nick Farabaugh of Pro Football Network has the Dolphins taking Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith at No. 3. He has them going offense again, and to the Crimson Tide well again, at No. 18.

18. Miami Dolphins: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

Talk about getting the entire band back together. The Dolphins go all-in on the Alabama offense and select Najee Harris to be their running back of the future.

Harris proved this year he is not just a pure bruiser, but he also has surprising amounts of wiggle and short-area burst. As a receiver, Harris is phenomenal and can be split out whenever asked. Harris brings a three-down skill set and will slide in to help Tua even more in this offense.

Najee Harris is perfect for the Dolphins

Harris has a ready-made every-down skill set, with 11 receiving touchdowns and 70 catches over his two seasons as Alabama’s lead back. And his running ability, with 1,466 yards and 26 scores on the ground last season, is hardly a footnote. Harris is big (6-foot-2, 230 pounds), but he’s not merely a bruiser. In what was basically an NFL offense run by Steve Sarkisian, Harris was a versatile weapon who occasionally split out as a receiver.

The Dolphins are an easy fit for Harris as they rebuild their backfield. Some might say the 18th pick is a shade early to take him, in a broad sense. But a slight reach (and it would only be slight) is well warranted.