During a Q&A session with CBS Sports on Monday (May 3), the Pro Bowl wide receiver expressed his gratitude in the Steelers "finally" drafting a fellow offensive player in the first-round after Harris was selected No. 24 overall during the 2021 NFL Draft last Thursday (April 29.)
"I think he changes it tremendously. You know, we lost a teammate in James Conner. And (Najee's) a guy that's been on the big stage. Coach [Mike Tomlin] actually called me about it, told me to reach out to him, and I told Coach T, 'Finally, you drafted an offensive player in the first round.' Because our defense, there's at least eight to 10 first-rounders there. So it'll be great."
During an interview with FOX News on behalf of Charmin's BRB Bot, Smith-Schuster revealed that he's already reached out to Harris since the Steelers' selected the former Alabama standout.
"I let him enjoy his time with his friends and family, but for the most part, I hit him up and said, ‘Hey man, let’s get to work. I can’t wait to win a Super Bowl.’ And that’s pretty much it," Smith-Schuster said. "I just said this is my number, if you need anything let me know. As a rookie, they have so much going on with rookie meetings, and this and that. I don’t want to bother them too much, but that’s what I said to him."
It's no surprise that Smith-Schuster is exited about the Steelers' draft pick considering he openly campaigned for Pittsburgh to take the fellow California native in the days leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft.
“Najee Harris, man, one of the best running backs out there that would fit for our team," Smith-Schuster said when asked about the Steelers' first-round options during an appearance on the Michael Irvin Podcast via USA TODAY. 'If we had him, it would be cool.”
Harris, who ranked as the No. 1 running back and No. 2 overall prospect for the 2017 national recruiting cycle, was the top running back prospect selected in Thursday's draft and was projected by ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. to be selected by Pittsburgh in his mock draft earlier this month.
The senior led all FBS running backs with 26 rushing touchdowns and ranked third nationally with 1,466 rushing yards, which led all SEC players.
In March, Smith-Schuster agreed to a one-year deal with the Steelers, which was reportedly a "massive paycut to return" over "larger deals from divisional rivals and Super Bowl contenders to accommodate Pittsburgh's tough cap situation," according to NFL Network's Taylor Bisciotti.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirmed the deal was worth $8 million and Smith-Schuster had "better offers" from the Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, according to a source.
The 24-year-old receiver has spent his entire NFL career with the Steelers since being selected No. 62 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.
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