Janoris Jenkins | 5'10" | 193 | North Alabama
N. Alabama Stats (1 year) 2 INTs, 53 tackles
Florida Stats (3 Years) 8 INTs, 121 tackles
First want to say that if Morris Claiborne falls to our #9 pick we'd be stupid not to select him. He might not be as good a cover corner but he is right up there with Janoris. That coupled along with Jenkins's past makes Mo a safer pick. But I just want to make the case for Janoris Jenkins, whether that be at #9 or if we trade down.
Janoris Jenkins's talent should never really come into question. He has always been highly touted as he was one of the top recruits coming out of high school. As a true freshman, Janoris started from day 1 at CB. He was just the second true freshman to do that at the University of Florida. While in Gainesville he was a part of some great defenses. He even shared the field with Joe Haden. Anybody who watched Gator games would know that that was one of the best CB tandem in all of college football. But if you had to grade them separately, Janoris always seemed a couple notches above. Haden was the better athlete and had great ball skills. But Jenkins was the better cover corner and was able to limit the throws to his side of the field. The Browns now have their CB for the future in Haden and we could do the same with Jenkins.
I know many are wary of Jenkins's past and rightfully so. He has been caught multiple times for marijuana and was kicked off UF's football team heading into his senior season. Personally, I think this was one of the best things that could have happened to Janoris. It gave Janoris a new perspective on his situation, "It humbled me a lot seeing how I went from Florida to a Division II football school in one season. It really humbled me as a kid. It taught me a lot. The environment was totally different, from 95,000 in "The Swamp" to 3,500 at UNA. Big difference." This humbling experience matured him and allowed him to see how his decision making can affect him on the football field. Going from the SEC to division II, Jenkins realized the spotlight wasn't nearly as big. Jenkins never failed a drug test at UNA according to Bowden and has kept his nose clean off the football field.
Why It Makes Sense for the Panthers?
I think most could argue that CB is the one position that needs to be upgraded the most. If not the top need, it's 1b. Besides Gamble, our CBs are hardly reliable. Adding a CB that can actually cover to go alongside Gamble will ease our safeties. I feel like playing safety on a team that can't defend the pass or the run has to be a tough task. Not knowing whether to shade a certain side of the field to defend the pass or coming up in the box to stop the run seemed like a constant dilemma for our safeties. Jenkins would be the first step in making this a more complete defense.
I think many would agree that this years draft class is deep in the CB department but that doesn't mean there isn't a drop off in terms of talent.
Personal Scouting Report
First, I will begin with the negatives for Jenkins. I'll start with the obvious character concern. As many know, Jenkins played at UNA this year because he was no longer a part of the UF football team after multiple violations. Many have cited this reason alone for wanting nothing to do with him. As far as on the field weaknesses, there is really only one glaring concern and that is his size. I think his size, or lack thereof, is more of a concern in run support than in the pass game.
If you can get past his character concerns, it's easy to see that Jenkins is a stud CB. Addressing his history of bad decision making, I truly think that his time at Division II matured him. If he can keep his nose clean he will be a great CB. He does lack size but that didn't seem like a problem for him when defending the top receivers in the SEC. He has good leaping ability. He is very agile and has fluid hips that allows him to change direction even while reacting to the wideout. And even on the rare occasion that there is a sizable separation, Jenkins is able to cover ground with his speed. He is the best cover corner in this years draft because of his ability to shut down and truly limit one side of the field. Concerning run support, Janoris has great instincts. He is very aggressive and is able to stop the back before he can make his move. But because of his size he is not always able to make the tackle. But the fact that he can get there with great speed, he can at least slow things down so the linebackers can clean up the mess.