I know the title doesn't allude much. It's very general, so I won't be surprised if you skipped this part and read downward. So I might as well cut to the chase.
What if Perry, Mercilus, Upshaw, Brockers, Konz, Hightower, Kirkpatrick, Barron, and some other were not available. I think it can be certainly plausible, and even if one or two were available I'd still consider..... here it comes...... Janoris Jenkins.
Hear me out for a minute. The first issue with Jenkins is character issues. And it's something to consider. However, he is the 2nd best cover corner in the draft, and thats a major talent to have. Not to mention, he can tackle very well, and if he had an injury, he would usually play through it. Before I mention Jenkins abilities further, lets talk about his off/on the field issues:
Arrested in May, 2009 for his role in a fight. Was tasered and originally charged with affray and resisting arrest without violence, both misdemeanors. The affray charge was later dropped. Was arrested twice in the span of four months following the 2010 season for marijuana possession. His second arrest prompted new Florida head coach Will Muschamp to kick him off the team, leading to Jenkins' transfer to North Alabama. Was ejected for throwing a punch at a Delta State player on October 13 and had to sit out the first half of UNA's next game (West Alabama).
Reading that, I can see people would say "stay away! We can't have him!"
Let me copy and paste an article from nepatriots.com. I was just looking for the latest offense on the list above, but I found this, and read it as well. Here is what it says:
NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed
Lately, Janoris Jenkins has been a pretty popular guy, unfortunately, it’s for all the wrong reasons.
Everyone is more than willing to pile on and vilify the guy without ever caring to hear the whole story, or truly think about some of his "transgressions."
Just remember, every one of us has something in our past that would drop us on draft boards. And a lot of us are doing more important and responsible work than covering wide receivers.
So let us go through the facts real quick: three arrests, two for marijuana possession and one for fighting and resisting arrest.
Before anyone runs to the comments section and tells me I forgot about how many children he has with different women, I don’t care. Lets leave our personal moral beliefs out of this conversation. I can’t possibly see how having four kids with three mothers will affect his on-field play.
Lets dive into those facts now. In May of 2009, Jenkins got into a fight outside of a bar in Gainesville, Florida. Police saw him punch another man in the head, supposedly over someone trying to steal his gold chain. The police tased him as they saw the fight continue, and he ran.
Are we all going to pretend that we have never gotten into a fight? That no one we know or respect has ever gotten into a fight? That we have never thrown a punch?
Jenkins was 20 years old at the time, 20 year olds are immature. They punch people over gold chains. Jenkins was either unlucky, or made a poor decision that police happened to be watching. As for him running, we do not know if he knew the police were tasing him or that he thought that someone else had tased him. Jenkins has said he felt the taser and his first instinct was to run. We don’t know the facts. Running was not the best decision, but in a physical game, are we willing to not draft a guy because he got into a fight?
Onto the weed charges, the ones everyone makes a huge deal about without hearing the whole story. Jayson Braddock reported yesterday that his first arrest was for less than a gram of marijuana and it held a $351 dollar fine.
His second marijuana-related arrest came from the same police officer, who smelled weed in a car that Jenkins was a passenger in. The driver of the car allowed a search and they found a "roach" in the ash tray. Jenkins was not the driver and was the only person arrested from the car. That fine was for $416.
I will start with an obvious fact: lots of college athletes smoke weed. Plenty of NFL players smoke weed as well, and find ways around testing positive.
Now let me get something out there before I continue. I do not smoke, I never have. I don’t particularly have anything against it, and I certainly don’t have anything against the people who choose to, but I don’t personally do it. I won’t get into my reasons, but I just want to let it be known that I’m not the person who’s going to advocate legalization or decriminalization, I don’t care about those things, they don’t affect me.
Lets not pretend that Jenkins will be the first NFL player who got in trouble, or smoked weed in college. A recent report came out that Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Spikes both failed drug tests in college. Randy Moss, Warren Sapp, Santonio Holmes, Ricky Williams: all players who were rumored to or were caught smoking.
I guess the biggest problem here is that Jenkins was caught… twice. I call that unlucky while others say that it’s stupidity on his part. I’m personally not willing to call another human being stupid without personally knowing them.
I’m not going to be the guy to argue that alcohol and tobacco are just as harmful as marijuana, once again, because I don’t care, it doesn’t affect me. Marijuana is illegal and alcohol and cigarettes are not. However, there’s a consensus top twenty wide receiver in this draft who’s been arrested twice for underage drinking (just as illegal as smoking pot) and once for a DUI (just as illegal and extremely dangerous) that hasn’t received half as much concern as Jenkins.
I also find that a lot of people condemning Jenkins are those that have not met him. I talked to Jenkins down at the Senior Bowl, and I found a person who was polite, nice, seemed apologetic for his actions and seemed intent on changing his persona. There were things to like and there were things to question, just like any other human being.
Two incidents of late seem to have sparked even more controversy with Jenkins, first that he fired his agent weeks before the draft. This is far more common than you think. Agent Greg Linton said on twitter that multiple players have switched agents in the past few months. It’s just something that usually goes unreported.
Jenkins was represented by CAA, a huge agency that wasn’t dedicating enough time to him. Ian Rapoport recently wrote about his switch at length. Jenkins was not fired as was misreported, he chose to switch agencies to get more personal attention.
The next falsehood being reported is that Jenkins told teams that he kept smoking while at North Alabama. Braddock reported that Jenkins has been drug tested every two weeks since leaving Florida and hasn’t failed a single one.
The lesson? Don’t believe everything you hear around draft season. Teams are constantly trying to throw out false information to get other teams scared. Jenkins is a player with a lot to question in his background, and throwing out more questionable information will only lower him on teams’ boards.
I have nothing to gain from defending Jenkins. I have never spoken to his agent (new or old), I am not a Florida fan, nor a North Alabama fan. Maybe I’m just playing the role of Sandy Cohen (you know, father on "The OC", defense attorney… Okay, I lost you at "The OC") and defending "the little guy," but with so many people assuming the worst about a person, someone has to be there to assume the best.
Based on talent alone, Jenkins would be a top ten pick. He’s a pure cover corner who can play press man just as well as off zone. He plays bigger than his 5’10" frame, he’s a great tackler, has loose hips in his transitions. He was so good at Florida that teams would target Joe Haden over him.
I can admit that the arrests can push him mid-late in the first round. That I have no problem with. But the third round grades and the statements like "I don’t want that thug on my team" are what really get me.
People can question his decision making off the field as much as they want, whether that’s over his decision to smoke in public or to have children, but we don’t know how that’s going to affect him on the field or in the locker room, which is what’s most important.
The fact that people are willing to call him a "thug" for having four children might be the thing that gets me the most. Jenkins told Braddock that his first child was with his high school girlfriend, and his last two are with his current girlfriend. We don’t know how he cares for them. We don’t know that he’s not a part of their life. We don’t know how well he supports them. We don’t know, so why are we assuming the worst? There’s a 20 year old top five consensus pick that has kids that are three and five years old, are we questioning his character?
Plenty of professional athletes have children at a young age, and it doesn’t affect their on-field play or off-field behavior at all. It’s only because of the almost TMZ-type reporting going on today that we even know that Jenkins has four kids. Hey, not sure if you’ve noticed, but there’s a certain future hall of fame quarterback that has two kids from two different women. And, gasp, he wasn’t married to the first one.
I understand that everyone has their own beliefs and everyone has their own moral ground to stand on, but that doesn’t need to become a part of evaluation on our part.
I see Jenkins as one part poor decisions and one part unlucky. Everyone makes mistakes, but most of us lucky ones are lucky enough to not do them in the eye of police. There’s also the fact that college athletes, especially those at Florida, seemed to be able to get away with a lot without many repercussions. Urban Meyer did a good job of burying the issues, then he left and Jenkins was kicked out by Will Muschamp and forced to transfer to North Alabama.
Rooting for a team that’s given chances to Brandon Meriweather (was swinging helmets at other players during an on-field brawl), Aaron Hernandez (weed), Brandon Spikes (eye gouging, weed) and Ryan Mallett (rumored harder drugs than those that Jenkins was caught with), I would have absolutely no problem with Jenkins being a first round pick.
As Patriots fans, we should feel extremely lucky New England wasn’t one of the 31 teams that passed on Aaron Hernandez. Years from now, lets hope we feel the same about Janoris Jenkins.
This was the interview with the wirter:
Then I read in another article from sportingnews.com.
“I made some mistakes,” Jenkins said. “I just want to show everybody that who I am on the field is who I am, and nobody can take it from me.
“I can’t take anything back. Everything that happened was for a reason. I’m glad that it happened because now I can reach out to younger kids and tell them not to make the same mistakes that I made.
“Judge me not for what I’ve done, but for what I have become.”
Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2012-04-12/nfl-draft-2012-cornerback-janoris-jenkins-north-alabama#ixzz1sPOal8pr
If some of the people on our draft board were not there, would you be angry if BB took Jenkins? We have seen our own veterans, like Wilfork and even Seymour hitting guys after a play. Football players get emotional on the field. We took Mallet, who was facing just as bad criticism, if not worse then Jenkins. For a 1st rounder who is pretty much the 2nd best CB in the draft, and possibly THE best cover corner in the draft with a ton of upside, I would not mind if BB took a good look at him, and drafted him.
I would like the pickup, IF others are not available. Who knows what will happen come draft time, but Jenkins is an intriguing talent to me. He had some bad run ins, but he could very well have changed character. We have a good environment, and he could definitely help improve our secondary. imo, priority should be an OLB, then CB. But I will not be upset if BB drafted Jenkins. Best talent in the secondary in the draft imo, maybe aside from Claiborne.