Troubled 2012 NFL draft prospect CB Janoris Jenkins is scheduled to meet with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, according to Ralph Vacchiano or the New York Daily News.
Based on just his skill level, most draft scouts have Jenkins rated as a first-round caliber cornerback in this year’s draft. However, it’s his off-the-field issues that have lowered his draft stock to a second-rounder, at best.
Some teams may have even completely removed him from their draft boards altogether.
Jenkins’ trouble started during his sophomore season in 2009 when he was arrested for fighting and resisting arrest (without violence). During a three month span in 2011, he was arrested two more times for possession of marijuana.
In April of 2011, Jenkins was kicked out of the University of Florida and transferred to North Alabama where he played out his senior season.
In addition to the arrests, marijuana consumption and failed drug tests, Jenkins also found time to father four children between three different women. However, it’s unfortunate to say, but that’s not an uncommon occurrence these days.
In the baby-daddy department, Jenkins doesn’t hold a candle to Antonio Cromartie, who fathered nine kids with eight different women — or Travis Henry, who has 11 children with 10 different women.
Busy guys, they are.
However, it’s the drug use that has teams the most concerned. Predictably, there are conflicting reports about whether or not he’s “kicked the habit.”
As quoted by Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, Jenkins himself said:
“I’m done with that,” Jenkins said when asked about his drug use. He and others around him say he has been clean ever since being kicked out of Florida in 2011 following the second drug arrest.
However, Albert Breer of NFL Network reported the following:
“He’s running with the wrong people,” an NFC personnel executive said. “They gave him every chance in the world at Florida, and it didn’t work. … And he gets to North Alabama, and he’s still smoking because he’s got this big-fish, little-pond thing going. I don’t see him going in the first round, and a lot of teams have him off their board completely.”
Therefore, it’s Jenkins’ word against whomever else might be in the know who claims Jenkins still smoked while at North Alabama.
Though his character is currently in question, Jenkins’ skills are not. He is one of the highest rated cornerbacks in this draft and if not for the off-field stuff, he would be a sure-fire first round pick.
Per Marc Sessler of NFL.com, here is what ex-NFL General Manager Charlie Casserly had to say about Jenkins:
NFL Network’s Charley Casserly recently called Jenkins a better man-to-man cover guy than either South Carolina’s Stephon Gilmore or Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick.
“I went back and watched half a dozen games when he was at Florida,” Casserly said on the positive side. “This guy can press, he can mirror off the press, he can mirror and trail and break, backpedal. He’s quick, he’s explosive out of it. … You can see him do all the things you want him to see him do to play man coverage, and he can play zone.
Also, back to the aforementioned article by Albert Breer, he stated that an AFC scout told him:
“He’s not a bad person. He just makes a lot of dumb, dumb mistakes. He just smokes and (has sex), and that’s essentially what it is. … And there’s just awful decision-making associated with that. I don’t think he’s a bad person. But he has a lot of soul-searching to do. I wouldn’t touch him in the first round.”
Jenkins is listed at 5′ 10″, 193 lbs and has speed in the 4.4 range. He posted two interceptions, four pass break-ups and 53 tackles last season with North Alabama. In his last season as a Gator, he posted eight pass break-ups with three interceptions.
Last season he also averaged 21.7 yards on 18 punt returns, so he does have a little extra-added value in that regard.
The Eagles are bringing him in for a visit, just as they do for everyone they bring in, because they want to size him up for themselves. They don’t normally draft players who are of questionable character.
Since the Eagles have two second-round picks, one of which they could use on a CB, they want to meet with him so they can make up their minds about him. He’s talented, but would come with real concerns.
Do you spend a high draft pick on a player like that?
Jenkins is the poster child for “high risk, high reward.” He’s a gamble that could pay off big time, or make you rue the day you brought him into your organization. There have been players with questions like him that have both excelled in the NFL as well as bombed out.
It’s a tough decision to make and one that surely gives NFL scouts and GMs some serious indigestion.
Who would you take if he were sitting there at say, pick No. 51, and you had to choose between him and Brandon Boykin? Boykin should be a solid player in the NFL but Jenkins could be a pro bowler.
What would you do?