This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
Thinking about picking up one of the best Najee Harris rookie cards? You’re certainly far from the first person who’s had that idea. With a rookie season and a former first-round draft pick status, the young running back out of Alabama is poised to follow in the footsteps of Mark Ingram, Derrick Henry, and other running backs who have been prepped for NFL success by the Crimson Tide. And so far Najee has NOT disappointed. And guess what? He should only continue to improve. Yes, optimism abounds. We’re about to go over a few of the hottest Najee Harris rookie cards available, but first let’s find out why his NFL breakout wasn’t much of a surprise.
Najee Harris College Dominance
Najee Harris’ senior season was a masterclass. That year he picked up 1466 yards on the ground across 251 carries in addition to 30 TDs and capped out his season with a 24 carry 136-yard performance to help Alabama topple Michigan 35-16 in the 2020 Citrus Bowl. And it wasn’t only the 2020 season where Harris shined. In 2019 he had 1224 yards rushing on 209 carries along with 20 total TDs. In other words, there is NO DOUBT that Najee Harris made a huge impact during his time in Alabama.
Another big game where Harris delivered the goods was in a crucial week 4 SEC battle against Georgia. That game saw Najee Harris lead Alabama to a 41-24 victory by totaling 152 yards on 31 carries. And let’s not forget about the performance of all performances where Najee rushed for 178 total yards on 31 carries and found the end zone 5 times in Alabama’s 52-46 win over Florida in the 2020 SEC Championship.
The point is, this kid knows how to get it done when it counts. And if YOU know how to get it done when it counts, it’d be a good move to consider picking up at least 1 Najee Harris rookie card before the season begins. Here are a the 10 best Najee Harris rookie cards to collect!
Speaking of first-round draft picks….
Check out the 10 best Trey Lance rookie cards!!
Top 5 Najee Harris Rookie Cards: NFL Editions
2021 Panini Prizm
It goes without being said that Panini Prizm produces some of the best Najee Harris rookie cards money can buy. For instance, the card above is a perfect example of how Prizm sets itself apart. Notice the thrilling display of colors and glossy texture. Two features that Prizm is known for.
Additionally, due to the quality nature of the cards in the set, you’ll find that they tend to grade higher than lesser brands. Something that’s incredibly attractive to anyone who’s hoping to increase the value of their Najee Harris rookie card by sending it out to PSA or BGS.
2021 Donruss Optics
When it comes to the Donruss Optic collection all we can say is WOW. Take one glance at the Down Town insert shown here and you’ll see why it’s a set that fans have come to anticipate year in and year out. In addition to the inserts, you’ll also find plenty of red hot Rated Rookie Najee Harris cards. A tried and true logo that has resonated through the decades.
In terms of overall quality and style Optic is a true rival to Panini Prizm.
2021 Panini Certified
The NFL cards are finally here and Certified came out swinging. For the fences. There are plenty of autographs, patches, and inserts to choose from here so no matter what you crave you should find something to satisfy. The Freshman Fabric line is incredibly popular and the card featured above makes for a swell moderately priced investment option. Without a doubt the best collection for Najee Harris rookie card variety we’ve seen so far.
2021 Panini Black
Another amazing collection if you’re looking to get your hands on a one of the best Najee Harris rookie cards featuring the running back in his Steelers uniform. This is an incredibly high end set with many cards that include Harris’ autograph. In addition to the ink, Panini Black also includes many rare parallels so hone in on this one if you’re looking to make a hefty investment. The card above is a /10 autograph with a value approaching the $500 mark. Look for a more common parallel without an autograph if you want something more casual.
2021 National Treasure
It’s not every day you get an autograph AND some sweet game material on the same card. But for National Treasures? Just another day at the office! This amazing collection from Panini is known for bringing the sizzle when it comes to giving the customer extra. Just take a look at the card above. A big fat piece of game worn fabric to go along with a blue ink signature at the bottom. Even if Najee kind of seems like an afterthought, most collectors are going to be way more excited to see the ink or fabric than the picture of the player. Sorry Najee!
Best Najee Harris Rookie Cards: Collegiate Editions
2021 Pro Set
The card’s light green layout at the top and bottom gives the card a very vintage look to compliment a picture that offers a very clear reason why Najee Harris only lost 1 fumble in his college career. Just look at that grip! Even the hardest hit from an opposing NFL linebacker is going to have a hard time jarring the ball loose from those clutches. Who knows, applying so much pressure to his grip on the football may be a part of the reason he has those Holk Hogan-like pythons. The autographed versions with a print run of 99 are going for between $200 and $300 at the moment and we’re expecting that price to continue to rise as we get closer to week 1.
2021 Panini Contenders
The College Ticket autographed card is going to be the most popular from this collection in terms of high-value plays. If you’re looking to go big seek out a low number Prizm like the Gold version with a print run of just 10. However, if you’re just looking for a layup hone in on a base card or one of the various inserts.
2021 Panini Prizm Draft
We LOVE this red hot Najee Harris rookie card featured above as it harnesses the ever-popular “Down Town” insert made by Donruss. Either way, this is the insert to target from this set if you’re in the mood for something different. However, there are plenty of affordable Prizm and autograph version of the base card if you’re looking for something a little more standard issue. Hard to go wrong here regardless of what you end up deciding on.
2017 Leaf Army
Unlike the last card on our list, this one has a far from vintage feel with its reflective surface and wild color pattern. The picture features Najee Harris playing in the U.S Army All American Bowl waiting for the snap. Given his outstanding college career, this card could be seen as the prequel to an exciting journey. Of course, there are a few different image variations so if you’re not feeling the bling check out the others.
As far as values go, you’ll need to pick up an autographed Najee Harris rookie card from this set if you want any skin in the game as even those are usually available for less than $150. However, if you’re looking for something more casual consider a non-auto version for under $10.
2021 Panini Legacy
Panini Legacy is a great card but it really doesn’t carry the notoriety as the other two on the list. However, we felt it deserved some love as there are plenty of great budget Najee Harris rookie cards in the set. The card above has a reflective exterior that serves to make Najee Harris’s movement come to life as he’s juking an unfortunate defender in what appears to be a primetime game. Thus, it is quite appropriate that the header of the card is entitled “Under The Lights”. The rarer parallels are going for right around $50 so this card makes a great addition for casual investors. However, if you’re looking to step it up check out the Mac Jones/Najee Harris Futures card as some of the most valuable are approaching $500.
Red Hot Rookie Alert: Trey Lance Rookie Card First Look
Najee Harris Rookie Card Investment Strategy
Short (1 year or less)
Najee Harris has had very little competition for playing time to start his rookie season and has solidified himself as “the guy” in Pittsburg’s backfield. On top of that, the Steelers are known for asking more from their lead back than just about any other team in the league. So with the playing time and overall touches seemingly a given, the only thing left to worry about is Harris’ ability and the Steeler’s new offensive scheme. Let’s just say we’re more skeptical of the new scheme and the suspect Pittsburgh offensive line than of Harris’ talent.
Medium (1 to 3 years)
We can’t help but like the idea of the prices Harris’ cards will be valued at a few years down the road. If he ends up continuing to perform like the way he has in his young career you’ll need to make a hard decision on whether to sell or hold out for even bigger gains.
3 Plays We Like Even Better Than a Najee Harris Rookie Card