Jets evaluating many players with local ties
The talent evaluation for the NFL draft for the Jets now includes two players with local ties.
A source tells Metro New York the Jets will have a private workout with Rutgers running back Jawan Jamison in addition to wide receiver Mark Harrison. Both players were part of the Scarlet Knights team that went 9-4 last season, won a share of the Big East title and lost to Virginia Tech in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Jamison was a big chunk of the Rutgers offense last season, rushing for 1,075 yards despite suffering an ankle injury in early November that limited him to just 41 carries and 122 rushing yards over the final four games of the year. He is considered a good pass-catching running back and is projected anywhere between the third and fifth rounds. He declared for the draft with two years of eligibility left.
Despite not being as strong of a runner, Jamison has drawn comparisons to former Rutgers and current Ravens running back Ray Rice for his willingness to run between the tackles.
Despite still being raw as a wide receiver, Harrison has a tremendous amount of upside at the next level. A former standout high school basketball player in Connecticut, Harrison led Rutgers with 44 catches for 583 yards and six touchdowns last season, using his 6-foot-3 frame as a red-zone threat. His 4.37 second 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine impressed scouts as a viable downfield option. He is projected as a late-round selection or a possible undrafted free agent.
The Scarlet Knights have sent several players to the local NFL teams over the past few seasons. The Jets had linebacker Jamaal Westerman on the roster for the first three seasons under head coach Rex Ryan in addition to linebacker Brandon Renkhart for a brief spell. Across town, the Giants have signed former Rutgers players in fullback Joe Martinek and cornerback Brandon Bing in recent years.
Metro New York has also learned that the Jets have interest in Texas A&M running back Christine Michael. The source said the Jets were impressed with Michael at the East-West Shrine Game and will have a workout with the powerfully built back.
At the NFL Combine, Michael showed good burst with a 4.54-second time in the 40-yard dash, perhaps enough to erase doubts about his comeback from an ACL injury last November in a game against Oklahoma.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for all your offseason news leading up to the draft.