AFC North running back units ranked from worst to best in 2023

  • Which Ohio team has the better RB duo?
  • Which team has the worst RB room?
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp
Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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3. Pittsburgh Steelers - Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, Anthony McFarland Jr.

Going into 2023, the Steelers are sporting a young running back unit led by 2021 first-round pick out of Alabama Najee Harris, with 24-year-olds Jaylen Warren and Anthony McFarland Jr. coming up behind him on the depth chart. Harris does already have a Pro Bowl selection to his name, earning it in his rookie season, which is impressive but that doesn't tell the full story.

The Good about Najee Harris: He's in his third year coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in his first two and has already accumulated 20 scrimmage touchdowns.

The Bad about Najee Harris: His efficiency. It's subpar, to say the least, as he has only averaged 3.9 yards per attempt in his first two seasons in the league.

That's why I'm hesitant to put the Steelers at number two instead of three in this ranking, Harris is a high-volume running back, but when you look at his stats more it becomes evident he's not very efficient. Sure, if he gets a lot of touches the yards will stack up, but a lot of these runs don't end up going very far. He only had one run that went over 20+ yards in 2022, which was less than Joe Mixon in a down year, who had four.

As for Warren, he was a UDFA signing last year for Pittsburgh and performed pretty well, all things considered, rushing for over 300 yards and getting 200 more through the air as the second option at running back. He seems to be a solid guy to have coming off the bench, so the Steelers do have some depth at the position.

There isn't much to say about McFarland. He was essentially HB4 and thus only put up a meager 30 yards on the ground, which is to be expected.