The NY Jets have met with a handful of projected mid-round prospects in recent weeks. But according to a recent report, they’ve now added a potential first-rounder to their list of visits in running back Najee Harris.
Per a report from Ali Ashraf, the Jets have officially met with the star Alabama running back marking the sixth prospect they’ve had an official meeting with ahead of this April’s draft.
It seems the Jets are spending many of their preliminary visits on running backs, at least as far as those that have been reported. Harris is already the third running back to have reportedly visited with the Jets after Oregon State’s Jermar Jefferson and Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson.
However, he’s clearly the most high-profile player to date.
Najee Harris is the most high-profile reported visit for the NY Jets to date
In a crowded Alabama backfield featuring the likes of Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, and Bo Scarbrough, Harris managed to emerge as the lead option after a standout junior season that saw him finish with 1,224 yards and 13 touchdowns on a swift 5.9 average.
But instead of leaving a year early and entering the NFL Draft, where he was projected as a likely Day 2 selection, Harris, somewhat surprisingly, decided to return to Alabama for his senior season.
And in hindsight, it might have been the right decision.
The California native rushed for a career-high 1,466 yards and a whopping 26 touchdowns while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. It helped net him the prestigious Doak Walker Award given to the top running back in college football as well as earn him a Unanimous All-American selection.
And he capped it all off with his second National Championship victory, a game in which he rushed for 79 yards and two scores.
Harris is widely seen as one of, if not the best running back in this year’s class. At 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, Harris is a powerful, determined runner who always falls forward for extra yardage.
While he doesn’t have blazing speed or acceleration, it’s incredibly difficult to bring him down when he builds up a head of steam. He’s like a runaway train when given 5-10 yards of space to build up speed.
Harris combines that with soft hands (he had 43 catches in his senior season) that project him as a three-down, bell-cow running back even in an NFL that is drifting away from them.
For that reason, he’s widely expected to be a Day 1 selection. The Jets could look to target him with their second first-round pick at No. 23 overall, assuming he’s still available.
With an obvious hole at the running back position, Harris would give Sam Darnold or whoever the team’s quarterback is in 2021 a top-flight running back prospect to work with.
The Jets are clearly keeping their eye on Najee Harris.