Jets Rumors Roundup: Jameis Winston draft talk, Chris Johnson replacement?

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After losing six of their first seven games, the New York Jets are already left looking at 2015 and beyond. Will the Jets be in position to draft a marquee quarterback? Are they looking to do so? What about the running game?

We'll address these questions and more in today's Jets Rumors Roundup.

Jameis Winston As A Jet?

If the New York Jets find themselves in the top 5 of next year's draft (which is a distinct possibility if things continue on their current track), Rich Cimini of ESPN New York recently listed a couple of big names that will likely be connected to the Jets during the pre-draft process:

I don't think they'll end up with the No. 1 pick -- hello, Oakland Raiders -- but the Jets certainly could be in the top 5. The obvious needs are quarterback, wide receiver and cornerback. If you're picking that high and you don't have a franchise quarterback, it has to be on the radar. The prize, of course, is Marcus Mariota, who currently holds the No. 1 spot on Mel Kiper's latest Big Board. The big pre-draft story will be Jameis Winston, assuming he turns pro. So talented, yet so many concerns. I can see it now: You'll be reading a lot of Jets-Jameis speculation in the spring. If they can't secure a top quarterback, the Jets need speed -- a stud playmaker on the offensive or defensive perimeter. Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper is a name to watch. 

Are the Jets willing to take the chance on Winston and his much-publicized off-the-field issues? If they decided the quarterback position is their first concern in 2015, it's at least plausible.

Jets To Look For A Chris Johnson Replacement?

In that same mailbag, Rich Cimini also answered a question as to whether or not offseason free-agent pickup Chris Johnson as been "a bust" in the Jets' backfield:

I wouldn't call Chris Johnson a bust. I think "disappointment" is a better way to put it. He's averaging a respectable 4.1 yards per rush (29th), but there haven't been many splash plays. He had the 35-yard touchdown run, and that's about it. I thought he'd be a bigger factor as a receiver and better in space, but that hasn't materialized. Part of it could be the way they're using him, mostly on inside runs. I'm sure he's still learning the nuances of the Jets' system, but the lightning speed that made him a household name in Tennessee hasn't been there. For 2015, they need to acquire a speed back to pair with Ivory. Powell is set to become a free agent. 

As is always the case with halfbacks, there will likely be several cost-effective speed options at the halfback position next offseason. Don't be surprised if GM John Idzik surveys his options.

Jets Performed Background Checks On Percy Harvin In 2009

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan isn't worried about newly-acquired wide receiver Percy Harvin's potentially negative influence in the team's locker room.

According to Anthony Rieber of Newsday, "Ryan said the Jets have no questions about Harvin's character. He revealed the club did "extensive background checks" on Harvin before he was drafted 22nd overall by the Vikings in 2009. That was the year the Jets drafted Mark Sanchez with the fifth pick."

With his reportedly sordid past with the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks, Harvin will have to prove that he can assimilate without incident before the greater public buys in to what Ryan is selling.

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