For all of the hype surrounding Mac Jones after his standout rookie season, Damien Harris was arguably the most instrumental player when it came to making the New England Patriots‘ offense work last year. The young leader’s breakout season helped take some of the pressure off of Jones.
Despite his effectiveness, Harris has not received the universal praise that normally accompanies a player with the gaudy numbers that he put up. In fact, some power rankings have him regarded as a player that needs to be replaced in the starting lineup. LeGarrette Blount was not having it.
FanDuel ranked Harris as the 15th best starting running back in the AFC, apparently having ignored the fact he ran for 15 touchdowns in a run-first office while carrying a rookie quarterback to the postseason. The only player ranked below him is Houston’s Rex Burkhead, who will be 32 this season and had 427 yards rushing last year.
Blount is not going to let another Patriots running back get disrespected while putting up nearly elite production. Blount called out the disrespect shown to Harris in these power rankings while asking him to “remember this list” in order to motivate him for the upcoming campaign.
LeGarrette Blount backed up Patriots running back Damien Harris.
Harris should be ranked at around No.7 or No. 8. given his production. Chase Edmonds has never topped 600 yards in a season. Devin Singletary is solid, but Harris surpasses him as a ball carrier. Clyde Edwards-Helaire saw his workload reduced last year, and Michael Carter is several tiers below Harris.
The most egregious names ahead of him on this list are JK Dobbins and Travis Etienne. Not only did both players miss the entire 2021 season due to injuries, but the latter is likely going to be a backup to James Robinson. You could even make an argument for Harris over Javonte Williams and Josh Jacobs!
Harris might not have the flashiest game in the world, nor is he the most boastful player, but it’s impossible to deny that the results have been effective. Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson have laid the groundwork for a smash-and-dash combination that should provide fantastic results for the next few years.
Maybe if Harris runs for 16 touchdowns, the media will think he’s better than a player who hasn’t played a down of NFL football or a youngster that is already getting relegated to backup duty.
Of course, a deep New England playoff run will do wonders for changing hearts and minds.