Mel Kiper remains one of the biggest names in the NFL Draft media game. Sometimes he’s right, sometime’s he’s wrong but his evaluations are always widely considered by all that follow the NFL Draft. Kiper posted his second mock draft of 2012 today and there is not only a change of player for the Lions from his first mock, there is a change of position as well.
ESPN posted Kiper’s first mock draft back on January 18. In that mock he had the Lions selecting North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown. This time around, Brown is no where to be found in the one round mock and Kiper has the Lions taking North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins with the 23rd pick. He has this to say:
At one time, Jenkins was destined to be a top-10 pick, and his talent level hasn’t dipped. After exiting Florida, he spent a year at North Alabama, and is finally ready for the NFL. As a pure cover corner, in terms of pure instincts, ball skills and athleticism, you’re looking at a potential Pro Bowl player. Jenkins is already a major threat in the return game. He has a history, but get him in the right system, and you could have a star. We know Detroit needs help at corner, and Jenkins might be too much value to pass up here.
At this point, Janoris Jenkins is best known for his marijuana involvement that led to his dismissal from the Florida Gators football program. However, he’s a talented corner that might not fall to 23rd if it wasn’t for his prior off the field transgressions. Jenkins was considered to be in play for the Lions in 2011 mock drafts prior to him announcing that he would stay in school another year.
The Lions organization places a premium on character when considering their draft options although they don’t rely on reputation to label a player for them. You can bet that Martin Mayhew will invest a good chunk of his time at the combine in Indianapolis doing his due diligence on the character of guys like Jenkins to make his own determination as to whether or not the player deserves the red flag.