Janoris Jenkins

Draft Grades: St. Louis Rams

The St. Louis Rams are in full rebuilding mode, and I wholeheartedly approve of their strategy to trade back and accumulate picks. My feelings on how they spent those picks, however, is a different story.

Michael Brockers isn’t going to make the type of difference that most Rams fans were hoping for from their 1st-round pick when the season ended. But he has a ton of potential and the Rams have more than enough time on their hands to wait for him to develop. By the time they’re ready to compete, he should be reaching his full potential.

Far too many teams approach the 2nd round as though it’s an opportunity to gamble without much risk, when in reality there are usually legitimate difference makers and 1st-round talents still on the board. The Rams did exactly this on Day 2 of the draft.

Brian Quick was huge reach at No. 33. He has the potential to develop into a quality possession receiver, but the Rams really needed to bring in a receiver who could help out Sam Bradford immediately, and Quick is definitely not that guy.

Janoris Jenkins obviously has the talent to be a star, but a rebuilding franchise like St. Louis is not the place for a player with serious off-field concerns. I’m just not sure the Rams coaching staff, front office and veteran players are equipped to handle an off-field project like this.

Isaiah Pead will help take the load of Steven Jackson’s shoulders, but he was a reach in the 2nd round. I don’t see him as a potential franchise back, which the Rams could have found earlier in this draft. Pead is a capable backup, but won’t take the reigns from Jackson once he’s ready to hang up the cleats.

Taking Jenkins was a risk, but pairing him with another rookie corner, Trumain Johnson, who also has serious off-field concerns was just plain stupid. Two young players who couldn’t stay out of trouble in college, now collecting NFL paychecks is a recipe for disaster.

Chris Givens is a deep threat, but that’s about it. He’ll contribute, and they definitely needed another weapon, but there were better receivers on the board in the 4thr ound.

Rokevious Watkins is an intriguing prospect. He has the size and strength to be a dominant interior run blocker, and is actually a decent athlete for his size. He could be a steal in the 5th round.

Greg Zuerlein was the top kicker on my board and actually received a 5th round grade. One of the reasons I like him is the fact that he should immediately be one of the most effective players on kickoffs in the league. He has a huge leg and should routinely force opponents to start from their own 20.

Aaron Brown adds some much-needed depth at linebacker. I was surprised they didn’t address this position earlier than the 7th round, because Brown likely won’t give them the help, at least early on, that they really need.

Daryl Richardson has a legitimate shot to win the third-string running back job, but I have to wonder if the Rams may bring in another veteran. Starting the season with two rookies at the position isn’t ideal.

I have to give the Rams credit for trading back and accumulating picks, but I don’t think they added enough difference makers. The added depth will allow them to be more competitive in 2012, but they took too many risks and made too many reaches. Unfortunately, this probably wasn’t the franchise-altering draft that it had the potential to be.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Draft Grades - 2012, Rams Leave a comment

Janoris Jenkins scouting report

Janoris Jenkins CB North Alabama #1
Ht: 5’10”

Wt: 182

 
Strengths:
Impressive athlete. Has the speed to stick with any receiver. Elite quickness and change-of-direction ability – has true “cover corner” skills. Gives a solid effort in run support; decent tackler for his size. Not afraid to match up against bigger receivers, and will occasionally step up and try to jam them at the line of scrimmage. Looks comfortable in zone coverage; does a nice job staying in his zone, while keeping his eyes on the quarterback. Occasionally used on corner blitzes while at Florida. A pesky cornerback; gets in receivers faces, lots of unnecessary shoving after it’s clear the play isn’t going his direction – so long as he keeps it under control, this is an asset. Played through a shoulder injury in 2010. Playmaker on special teams; one of top return specialists in this year’s class. Plenty of experience against top competition (37 starts at Florida).
Weaknesses:
Significant character issues. Arrested in 2009 for his role in a fight. Arrested twice in 2010 for marijuana possession (in a span of four months). Kicked off team (at Florida) after most recent arrest and enrolled at North Alabama. Ejected from a game in 2011 for throwing a punch. Slightly undersized; can get pushed around by some bigger receivers. Impulsive on the field; can play solid fundamental football at times, but takes too many big risks. Tackling technique could improve, but the effort is there. Easily blocked by most receivers in the run game. Missed 2010 bowl game with shoulder injury.
Comments:
In terms of raw talent, Jenkins is a legitimate 1st-round pick, and could even be viewed as a potential top-10 prospect. However, his off-field issues severely limit his draft stock, and he will likely be removed from many draft boards. Given his long list of transgressions, which continued to an extent at North Alabama, spending a 1st-round pick on Jenkins would be a huge risk. That said, his character concerns are not significantly worse than Jimmy Smith, who was selected in the 1st round by the Ravens in 2011. He’s the type of prospect that bad teams should steer clear of, but he may be worth the risk to a contender.
Videos:
2010 vs Georgia, Alabama (A.J. Green, Julio Jones)
2011 highlights (North Alabama) 
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Leave a comment