Harmon expects NFL phone call Sunday

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

For Jason Harmon, it's a matter of who and when rather than when and why.

Harmon, the Michigan State Spartans senior safety, is watching the NFL draft much like millions of other players and fans. But Harmon has a greater interest since he is waiting for his name to be called.

The former Ironton Fighting Tigers All-Ohio defensive back has been in contact with at least 10 NFL teams and said he expects Sunday to be his day. He knows why it's Sunday instead of yesterday and the first three rounds of the draft.

Email newsletter signup

What he doesn't know is who will take him and when.

"My day is probably (Sunday)," Harmon said. "I've heard from about 10 teams. Everybody is telling me they'll try to draft me on the second day and, if not, they'll pick me up as a free agent."

A two-time Big Ten honorable mention selection, Harmon said his agent has spoken mainly with Cleveland, Jacksonville, Green Bay, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Miami and the two New York teams - the Jets and Giants - about possibly being drafted. If the draft doesn't produce an employer, he said that was no problem.

"I know I'm going to get picked up, it's just a matter of when," Harmon said. "My agent has been talking and they're pushing to take me in the later rounds. If I'm not drafted, every team will be calling.

"All the teams have holes somewhere when it comes to defensive backs. It looks good. I just have to prove myself once I get there."

Harmon went to the NFL combine workouts at Indianapolis and performed. Well.

The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Harmon ran a 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash and a 4.03 in the 20-yard shuttle. He had a 10-foot, 4-inch standing broad jump leap along with a 38-inch vertical leap. As for strength, he did 23 repetitions of 225 pounds.

"My workouts went real good," Harmon said.

Harmon caught scouts' eyes because of his physical toughness. In a tough, physical Big Ten conference, Harmon was second on the team last season with 105 tackles as a strong safety. He had 48 solo stops and 57 assists.

Harmon also intercepted three passes, had five breakups and recovered two fumbles.

As a junior, Harmon led the Spartans with 108 tackles including 64 solo stops, picked off three passes, had 10 breakups and three 3 fumble recoveries.

He has 64 tackles as a sophomore, fifth best on the team to go with three interceptions and two break ups.

"I weighed in (at the combine) at 212. That's a good weight for me playing as a strong safety," Harmon said.

"In college, I was getting by playing at 202 or 205. I can be a more dominant player at 215. It doesn't really matter the defensive scheme used. A lot of teams want me to play strong safety because of my tackling ability."

Harmon said the wait makes him anxious, but he remains steadfast in his belief he'll get a chance to play in the NFL. He said the biggest reason he wasn't a first day pick was linked to the Spartans lackluster season.

"If we would have had a better season, there would have been no doubt I would have been taken in the draft," Harmon said. "I know I'm just as good as any of the safeties in the draft. You just have to deal with the cards you're dealt. I just need to get my foot in the door."