So there I was, doing my mock draft which will be unveiled tomorrow. I’m at the 23rd pick and Jonathan Martin, David DeCastro, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Mike Adams are all of the board. Do I draft troubled ex-Florida Gator Janoris Jenkins to the Lions? Is the risk worth the reward?
If you’ve followed the Detroit Lions and the 2012 NFL Draft at all, you should know the Janoris Jenkins story by now. Jenkins first got in trouble when he was involved in an altercation where he claimed someone tried stealing his gold chain around his neck. Then he had two misdemeanors for marijuana position. Jenkins is also the father of four children with three different women. Eventually, he was kicked off Florida and ended up playing for North Alabama last year.
For the most part, I don’t think Lion fans are bothered much by the two misdemeanors for marijuana. One occurred when police found Jenkins with a bag of pot in the bathrooms at a Gainesville club and the other occurred when he was spotted by police smoking in his car. I’m not backing Jenkins actions at all as it is still illegal, but I wouldn’t put too much into his incidences with marijuana. He’s young and he isn’t some drug lord like ex-Bear, Sam Hurd.
The fact that he is raising four children with three different women is more troublesome to Lion fans. That definitely shows carelessness and lack of responsibility. It is hard to defend that. I’ve heard many comparisons to Antonio Cromartie who has been a bust in the NFL. Yes, Jenkins and Cromartie’s issues are similiar, but I don’t like the comparison. Cromartie has nine children with eight women in six different states. That’s more than double the children and women.
So should the negative baggage carried by Jenkins prevent the Lions from drafting him? It is a big, if not the biggest, question Lion fans are talking about.
First, myself and I hope other Lion fans fully trust Martin Mayhew. Mayhew has made great moves in his short time as general manager. I trust that Mayhew will make the right choice. As the saying goes, “In Mayhew We Trust”.
However, in my own opinion, I believe the Lions should take Jenkins if he is available and others are off the board. There is no question that Jenkins has really screwed up in the past. Unlike Ryan Mallett last year, Jenkins isn’t avoiding questions about his past. Instead, he steps up and answers them. He says that he is “done with that stuff”. Is it just lip service? I’m not sure, but I like that he doesn’t avoid it his past.
If the Lions do draft Jenkins, I’m sure that they can provide help for Jenkins. The NFL now has a mandatory rookie symposium which teaches many different lessons including financial seminars. If Jenkins learns to take care of the finances of his family, I don’t think it should carry over to the football field.
I want a good football player. For the most part, draft analysts agree that Jenkins posses great talents at cornerback. If it wasn’t for his off-the-field issues, I doubt that Jenkins would even be available this late. Whatever goes on in Jenkins’ life is his problem, as long as it doesn’t affect the team, it would be a good pick for the Lions.
Others argue that Jenkins would tear apart the locker room. I’m not buying that. Jenkins doesn’t play quarterback or another position that is crucial to the team. He’s a corner and unless he does something really, really bad, I don’t think his actions will ruin the locker room. There are veterans on this team like Kyle Vanden Bosch that won’t let that happen.
In the end, after thinking about if for upwards of an hour, the Detroit Lions selected Janoris Jenkins in my mock draft.