Tag:Janoris Jenkins
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:06 pm
 

Top CBs fail to close gap on Claiborne

NFLDraftScout.com has four strong cornerback prospects rated as potential first-round picks, and LSU's Morris Claiborne remains at the top of the position as none of the elite prospects particularly stood out during testing drills at the Scouting Combine on Tuesday.

North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins is hovering around the top 10, and ran an impressive 4.46-second 40-yard dash, compared to Claiborne's 4.50. Alabama's 'Dre Kirkpatrick posted a 4.51, while Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard ran a 4.55. All were very respectable times. (Combine 40 Times)

Dennard flipped the script a bit with an impressive 37-inch vertical jump, while Kirkpatrick (37), Claiborne (34.5) and Jenkins (33.5) lagged behind him a bit.

While Claiborne said he believes his speed helps separate him from the other top cornerbacks, he pointed to technique when asked to describe his game.

"More of a technician, and trying to funnel the guys instead of getting real physical with them at the line all the time," said Claiborne, who considers himself a better man coverage corner than zone.

The biggest mover of the day was clearly Central Florida's Josh Robinson, who torched the 40 in 4.33 seconds. He also led the defensive backs with a 133-inch broad jump and finished second in the position group with a 38 1/2-inch vertical. Currently projected as a fourth-round pick, Robinson figures to ride the wave up the draft board a bit leading into the pro day season.

Posted on: February 26, 2012 3:06 pm
 

Janoris Jenkins trying to win off the field first

   INDIANAPOLIS -- Janoris Jenkins has plenty to prove along his winding path to the NFL.
   Many of the answers he must provide for the decision-makers of the 32 teams in the league before the draft will require his employer to invest more faith in Jenkins' words than they will dollars in his talent. His forthright media session, unabashedly recounting his misdeeds and recent talks with NFL teams, made Jenkins sound like a player grateful he still has a chance to cash in on his skills despite off-field ills.
   "I think about my mom a lot," said Jenkins "and my kids."
   He has four children, including three boys, three years old and younger.  
   More than he wants NFL teams to hear his contrition and believe him when he says "I'm done with (marijuana) forever, I can't do it," he wants Janoris Jenkins Jr. to be proud of his father and his name.
   Recognized as one of the premiere talents at the cornerback position along with two All-SEC juniors, Morris Claiborne of LSU and Alabama's Dre' Kirkpatrick, Jenkins past has him on shaky footing with general managers and coaches placing a premium on "football character."
   "We talked to Janoris at the Senior Bowl and plan to talk to some other guys here who've had some off-the-field situations," said Lions general manager Martin Mayhew. "We evaluate those (players) on an individual basis. The key thing is to go into it with an open mind. We just go into it, have a conversation with them about their past and about their future. Really, that's what's really important -- is what the future is."
   Mayhew said the no-holds barred Jenkins was "an impressive young man."
   Jenkins had been a high-profile peer in the nation's preeminent conference until first-year Florida coach kicked him off the team days before the 2011 NFL Draft. Jenkins was arrested on misdemeanor marijuana charges, his second drug-related arrest in three months and third in 23 months, and Muschamp sent him packing.
   In May 2009, he was arrested and Tasered by police who couldn't break up a fight involving five other people. In January 2011 he was arrested when police caught him rolling a cannabis cigarette in a bathroom stall at a Gainesville nightclub.
   After a meeting, Muschamp said he and Jenkins agreed it was in his best interest "to move ahead."
   Instead of playing in front of 95,000 fans at home games in Florida, Jenkins said he often watched the Gators on Saturdays because he was playing on Thursday nights in Division II.
   Jenkins would have likely been in the 2011 draft in which another SEC cornerback, LSU junior Patrick Peterson, was drafted fifth overall by the Arizona Cardinals, but he needed reconstructive shoulder surgery and opted not to enter the supplemental draft as Terrelle Pryor did to escape Ohio State.
   Instead, Jenkins started over in the Gulf South Conference, enrolling at Division II North Alabama to play under Terry Bowden, the former Auburn coach who said he thoroughly investigated Jenkins' transgressions and felt the Parade high school All-American and second-team All-American at Florida was worthy of a mulligan.
   "I talked to everybody I could possibly talk to at Florida, from Urban Meyer to Will Muschamp to (athletic director) Jeremy Foley," Bowden said in June. "They all said he is a guy who made a mistake. But it does not represent his character or time at Florida."
   He wasn't a model citizen at North Alabama.
   Jenkins was ejected from the Oct. 13 game against Delta State for throwing a punch in a game UNA lost 30-24 in overtime.
   For a player trying to straddle the straight and narrow and repair dinged character, it was another letdown. Ten NFL scouts were in attendance.
   Jenkins said he's grateful for a second chance, but teams might overlook his talent because of his hefty baggage.
   "I'm pretty sure it will hurt me," he said.
   And it will, but Jenkins will likely earn respect for what seems to be a genuine purpose to avoid the people who promote his past lifestyle and keep his nose clean. He's been asked about it in every meeting with teams since the Senior Bowl.
   "I was honest, straightforward, told 'em I did it," he said. "I admitted to everything, I take full responsibility, and I learned from it."
   It's an accomplishment that after a failed drug test, multiple arrests, being bounced from Florida and ejected from a game for throwing a punch, that Jenkins could be coveted in the NFL.
   But the game film Jenkins produced, including head-to-head battles with 2011 first-round picks A.J. Green -- the best receiver Jenkins faced, he said -- and Julio Jones and possible 2012 first-rounder Alshon Jeffery from South Carolina, proves he has NFL ability. He's projected as a first-round pick. He held Green and Jones to an average of less than 40 yards per game in head-to-head competition.
   "Janoris Jenkins when he was at Florida," said Jeffery of the best cornerback he's played. "He's a great defensive back. He's a physical player. Talked a lot of trash, but definitely great competition."
   If Jenkins can convince the NFL his biggest battles are behind him, he has a chance to win the one he now says matters most to him -- being a better son and father than he is football player.
Category: NFL Draft
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:30 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:45 pm
 

South Team's CBs stealing the show at Senior Bowl

MOBILE, ALA -- With the NFL evolving into a predominantly passing league, cornerbacks are in high demand and have become one of the premier positions at the next level. With that said, the senior class boasts some intriuging talent at the cornerback position and several of those rising talents can be found on the South squad at the Senior Bowl.

North Alabama (and former Florida Gator) cornerback Janoris Jenkins has put to rest any debate as to who is the most talented senior cornerback in this year's group with his performance in practice this week. He is a fluid athlete with very light feet and swivel hips to turn and run downfield, but also shows the closing burst and physical nature to attack what's in front of him. At practice on Wednesday, Jenkins showed impeccable timing and explosion to plant, drive and blow up the play, knocking the ball and North Carolina receiver Dwight Jones to the ground in one of the drills.

At times his lack of size and length will show in man coverage (only 5-93/4" tall), but he has a natural feel for the position that NFL teams covet. Now obviously there are several off-field questions regarding Jenkins as a prospect, which will ultimately affect his draft stock. However based on pure talent and football ability, Jenkins is a top-10 prospect and should be the top senior cornerback off the board.

Georgia's Brandon Boykin also stood out at Wednesday's practice, flashing his elite-level quickness and athleticism. However, what was most encouraging to see was his aggressiveness at the line of scrimmage, getting physical with receivers off the snap and working hard to make them as uncomfortable as possible. Boykin was a bit grabby at times and needs to stay disciplined or he'll attract penalties at the next level, but it was a positive sign that scouts wanted to see with the former Bulldog speedster.

Small school cornerback Ryan Steed out of Furman has shown he belongs here this week, competing at a high level in every drill. His inexperience will show at times as he still needs to develop his instincts and read/react ability, but he has shown the smooth athleticism to play the position in the NFL. Steed looked natural in his transition, turning and running with receivers downfield with smooth flexibility. He needs some work before he's ready to cover pro receivers, but he has looked promising this week

And perhaps the biggest riser among senior cornerbacks is Dwight Bentley out of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has a lean, wiry build at 5-10 and 176 pounds, but has hasn't backed down at all, staying physical and competing with bigger, stronger receivers. Bentley is obviously most comfortable playing in off-coverage where he can rely on his athleticism, but that hasn't stopped him from putting his hands on receivers just enough keep them from separating. After an inconsistent senior campaign, Bentley needed a strong week here and he has exceeded expectations so far.

OTHER PROSPECT NOTES:

WR Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M: Senior Bowl practices this week have been an extension of Fuller's 2011 season and unfortunately that's not a good thing. He looks the part with a tall, strong build and surprising quickness and athleticism (looks like a basketball player on the field), but his hands and concentration continue to let him down. Fuller will make a nice catch, but follow it up with two poor drops. In the NFL, it doesn't matter how big or fast you are at receiver if you can't complete the reception.

TE Brad Smelley, Alabama: Every year, 'Bama seems to be well-represented at the Senior Bowl, due to their talented program, but also because of the proximity to Mobile. Some Alabama players deserve to participate in this game, while others arguably may not, but Smelley has shown he belongs here. Through three days of practice, it could be argued that no pass-catcher has been more consistent than the Tide H-back who has shown vacuum-hands all week. He isn't explosive in any way, but he plays hard and fast at all times and has earned a draftable grade.

OT Levi Brown, Troy: An under-the-radar player, Brown has had a tough time so far this week, but has shown steady progression after being moved inside to guard at practice. He looks natural in his movements with very good foot quickness and lateral agility, but he is unpolished with his hand placement and overall technique. After playing left tackle at Troy, Brown will need to strengthen his base and lower body in order to anchor as an interior blocker.

OT Jeff Allen, Illinois: Another collegiate left tackle who was moved inside to guard, Allen looked much more comfortable in tight quarters. He doesn't extend his arms or use his hands as effectively as he should, often allowing rushers into his body, but he holds his own at the point of attack. His weight also looks a bit sloppy, especially in his midsection, which is disappointing from a college left tackle. With Allen, it doesn't always look pretty, but he seems to get the job done.

LB Lavonte David, Nebraska: One of the more impressive players so far this week has been Lavonte David, the tackling machine from Lincoln. However where he has been most impressive is his drops, showing fluid hips and above average footwork for a linebacker when asked to turn and run. David isn't the most physically imposing at 6-0 1/2" and 225 pounds, but he is a sure-tackler with the first step quickness and natural instincts needed for the position. For David, it's not a question about "ability", but rather a question of "where does he fit?"

RB Terrance Ganaway, Baylor: At 5-11 and 241 pounds, Ganaway has the bruising size and natural power to work well between the tackles. But if he hopes to see playing time at the next level, he must improve his blocking. Ganaway has struggled in practice this week in pass protection drills, showing poor habits and inexperience. He routinely drops his helmet and leaves his feet, allowing pass rushers to brush by him and get to the pocket.

  The preceding report was written by NFLDraftScout.com analyst Dane Brugler. He can be followed on Twitter @dpbrugler

Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:29 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 6:36 pm
 

Arizona WR Criner quieting critics at Senior Bowl

MOBILE, Ala -- Arizona wide receiver Juron Criner saw his stock slip before his senior season even began amid concerns about family and personal health issues. 

While those issues will still need to be investigated fully by NFL teams, the playmaking skills that he demonstrated throughout an record-breaking career with the Wildcats have helped him stand out this week for the South Team at the Senior Bowl.    

Though I still have reservations about Criner's straight-line speed, he's shown enough in that category to eat up the cushion against off-man coverage supplied by a cornerback group for the South that is as strong as any position playing in the 2012 Senior Bowl. Criner runs precise routes and has excellent body control to adjust to the ball while it is in flight. He demonstrated this in beating North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins, my 21st overall rated prospect in the 2012 draft on a deep ball midway through Wednesday's practice.    

Criner's ability to track the ball and make big plays haven't ever been the question. After all, he caught 75 passes for 956 yards and 11 touchdowns in just 12 games as a senior and this was a drop-off from the year before when he earned All-American honors with 82 catches for 1,233 yards and 11 scores. Though he certainly doesn't possess the big play speed of Arkansas' Joe Adams or Houston's Patrick Edwards, he's frankly been a more reliable target this week than either of the other two big possession receivers NFLDraftScout.com currently rates ahead of him -- North Carolina's Dwight Jones and Texas A&M's Jeff Fuller.
      
I spoke to a high-ranking team official who recently met with Criner to get a better gauge as to the level of concern he, personally, had with Criner's off-field issues.

"I'm not concerned at all," the official said. "That stuff was overblown by the media. The coaches there [Arizona] say he is a good kid.  He's gone through some tough stuff but I don't know of anything that would cause his stock to be impacted by it."

Posted on: December 5, 2011 6:09 pm
 

Oregon dismisses All-American CB/RS Cliff Harris

Considering that he earned consensus All-American honors as a return specialist and cornerback as a sophomore, many expected the 2011 season to be the last one in Autzen for Cliff Harris.

As it turns out, it will be Harris' last season as a member of the Oregon Ducks. But he isn't leaving the way most expected.

The University of Oregon announced Monday that Harris has been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules. The full release is below.

Harris' off-field behavior is every bit as disconcerting as his on-field talents are exciting. Harris has a long history of run-ins with the police. He was cited for speeding and driving a car with a suspended license in July, which led to Kelly suspending him for the team's opening game against LSU. He was then suspended October 24 after his second run-in with local authorities and has missed the Ducks' final five games as a result. 

The repeated mistakes are sure to force college and/or pro teams to question whether they can trust Harris.

Considering his talent, Harris isn't without options. As North Alabama proved last year in accepting a transfer from former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins (released by the Gators due to citations involving marijuana), there are always programs willing to gamble on star power.

Should Harris enter the draft, scouts will certainly do their homework on him as he's unquestionably among the elite cover corners in the nation. In 27 career games, Harris recorded eight interceptions. He led the Pac-10 with six interceptions last season and led the entire country with 23 passes broken up. Of his six interceptions in 2010, three of them were against NFLDraftScout.com's top two rated quarterbacks, Stanford's Andrew Luck and Southern California's Matt Barkley.

Harris is currently listed as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 13 rated cornerback for the 2012 draft and a middle round value. He entered the year ranked No. 2 at the position and viewed as a possible first round pick.

As promised, here is the full release from the University of Oregon regarding Harris' release:

University of Oregon cornerback Cliff Harris has been dismissed from the Ducks’ football program for a violation of team rules, according to the Ducks’ Head Coach Chip Kelly Monday.

Harris was suspended indefinitely on Oct. 24 and has since been prohibited from all football activities, missing Oregon’s last five games of the regular season in addition to last Friday’s Pac-12 Conference Championship.

The Fresno, Calif., junior had been credited with nine tackles and one interception in six games this season after missing the season-opening loss to LSU while serving another suspension.

The 2010 consensus All-American finishes his Oregon career with 61 tackles in 27 appearances, eight interceptions for one touchdown, and returned 38 punts for a 16.2-yard average and four more scores.

Posted on: October 4, 2011 5:47 pm
 

Ex-Gator Janoris Jenkins dominating at D-II level

Former Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins is playing every bit as well as you might expect for Terry Bowden and the North Alabama Lions.

Jenkins was recognized Monday for his second Gulf South Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honor thus far this season.

With the Lions tied 14-14 with Southern Arkansas Saturday, Jenkins returned a punt 89-yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Later he blocked a field goal attempt.

It was the second time Jenkins has returned a punt for a score for North Alabama. He also scored on an 87-yard return a few weeks ago against Glenville State.

For the season Jenkins has 33 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. He has three pass breakups and a fumble recovery -- which, not surprisingly, he also returned for a score. That big play came at Cowboys Stadium against then-No. 3 ranked Abilene Christian on September 17.

It was announced on Monday that the Lions had moved from No. 2 in the national rankings to the top spot, meaning that even more eyes will now be on the Florida transfer.

NFL teams will certainly have to do their homework on Jenkins. The repeated off-field mistakes Jenkins made over his career with the Gators are nothing to be taken lightly.

Neither, however, are his obvious skills on the football field.

Athletic, instinctive and possessing the closing burst to replicate his collegiate success against NFL competition, Jenkins -- from purely an athletic standpoint -- deserves consideration as the top senior cornerback prospect in the country and a possible first round pick.
Posted on: October 3, 2011 3:57 pm
 

Cornerback the strength of 2012 draft?

With a full month of the college and NFL seasons now in the books, we can now take a look at the talent likely to be available in the 2012 draft and compare it to the areas of concern for most professional teams.

Though I'd argue that none of the cornerbacks in the upcoming draft class appears to be as good as gifted as No. 5 overall pick Patrick Peterson (Cardinals), what is becoming increasingly obvious is that the cornerback class, as a whole, is much stronger than in most years.

Durability and off-field concerns have certainly reared their ugly heads at the position as Nebraska senior Alfonzo Dennard has struggled to return from a pulled leg muscle and two of the better ball-hawking corners in the country -- North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins and Oregon junior Cliff Harris -- had noteworthy run-ins with police during the off-season.

That isn't to say any of the three of them is likely to slip out of the first round should their issues be resolved to NFL teams' satisfaction prior to the April draft.

As everyone knows, the NFL has morphed into a league dependant on the passing game. This fact makes quarterbacks and strong passing attacks critical to offensive success. At the same time, it drives up the value of pass defenders -- whether they be pass rushers or defensive backs.

The 2012 class of safeties does not appear to be an overly talented one. At cornerback, however, there is a great deal of talent. Besides the three players I've already mentioned, I'd be surprised if Alabama's 'Dre Kirkpatrick, LSU's Morris Claiborne, Virginia Tech's Jayron Hosley -- all juniors -- aren't selected in whatever first round they choose to make themsevles eligible. I currently list six cornerbacks among my top 32 prospects for the 2012 draft.

Some argue that by spreading the defense out elite cornerbacks can be taken out of the game. There certainly is ample evidence to argue this considering that so many pro offenses are now utilizing three, four or even five receivers per snap.

My argument against this theory, however, is that spread offenses are only going to drive up the value of cornerbacks. Cornerbacks with Hosley or Harris, for example, while perhaps not ideal run defenders or possessing the size teams would like to slow the Andre or Calvin Johnsons of the world, might prove perfect cover options for the smaller, quicker slot receivers that are proving so integral to today's top passing attacks.

This doesn't appear to be a case of teams needing help at one position and therefore grading players at that position of need higher than normal.

These guys just might be that good.

For some NFL defenses weary of giving 300+ passing yards to even average quarterbacks, the help can't come soon enough.
Posted on: June 25, 2011 3:24 pm
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