Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Florida's Jenkins is an interesting option

It's been a while since the NFL supplemental draft meant anything to anyone.

The last time the supplemental draft meant anything to the Cleveland Browns is when the Browns used the late draft to bring Bernie Kosar into the fold.

The main NFL draft, to be held this weekend, is what everyone focuses on. The handful of names that make themselves eligible for the supplemental draft a few months from now are often considered afterthoughts.

That probably changed on Tuesday when Florida coach Will Muschamp booted three-year starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins off the team for another arrest.

Jenkins has some baggage, obviously, but he is a superb talent and worthy of being a first-round draft pick this year had he not gotten injured and sat out the Gators' trip to the Outback Bowl. He resisted the temptation to head to the NFL, choosing rather to return for his senior year and get healthy again.

According to an Associated Press report, Muschamp kicked Jenkins off the team after being arrested for the third time in the past two years recently. This time it was marijuana possession.

That being said, he has a red flag attached to him if he DOES in fact make himself eligible for the supplemental draft.

But he is unquestionably a lockdown type of cornerback.

How lockdown is he?

Consider this gem from the AP report: He pretty much shut down the league’s best receivers. Georgia’s A.J. Green, Alabama’s Julio Jones and South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery averaged 38 yards receiving against Jenkins and had one touchdown between them.

As in A.J. Green and Julio Jones, soon-to-be top 10 picks in the 2011 NFL draft.

Jenkins has some problems, no doubt. But he has talent like no other player has ever had when making himself eligible for the supplemental draft. It's almost a no-brainer that he will.

The next step is in the hands of the NFL teams. Do you take a flier on a potential Darrelle Revis-type of lockdown corner while looking past his baggage?

It's a tough call. But passing on someone as talented as Janoris Jenkins, who did the impossible and made A.J. Green and Julio Jones look pedestrian, is one heck of a gamble.

Almost as big as the one taken by selecting him in the draft.

- John Kampf


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