In Defense of Janoris Jenkins

Two incidents of late seem to have sparked even more controversy with Jenkins, first that he fired his agent weeks before the draft. This is far more common than you think. Agent Greg Linton said on twitter that multiple players have switched agents in the past few months. It’s just something that usually goes unreported.

Jenkins was represented by CAA, a huge agency that wasn’t dedicating enough time to him. Ian Rapoport recently wrote about his switch at length. Jenkins was not fired as was misreported, he chose to switch agencies to get more personal attention.

The next falsehood being reported is that Jenkins told teams that he kept smoking while at North Alabama. Braddock reported that Jenkins has been drug tested every two weeks since leaving Florida and hasn’t failed a single one.

The lesson? Don’t believe everything you hear around draft season. Teams are constantly trying to throw out false information to get other teams scared. Jenkins is a player with a lot to question in his background, and throwing out more questionable information will only lower him on teams’ boards.

I have nothing to gain from defending Jenkins. I have never spoken to his agent (new or old), I am not a Florida fan, nor a North Alabama fan. Maybe I’m just playing the role of Sandy Cohen (you know, father on “The OC”, defense attorney… Okay, I lost you at “The OC”) and defending “the little guy,” but with so many people assuming the worst about a person, someone has to be there to assume the best.

Based on talent alone, Jenkins would be a top ten pick. He’s a pure cover corner who can play press man just as well as off zone. He plays bigger than his 5’10” frame, he’s a great tackler, has loose hips in his transitions. He was so good at Florida that teams would target Joe Haden over him.

I can admit that the arrests can push him mid-late in the first round. That I have no problem with. But the third round grades and the statements like “I don’t want that thug on my team” are what really get me.

People can question his decision making off the field as much as they want, whether that’s over his decision to smoke in public or to have children, but we don’t know how that’s going to affect him on the field or in the locker room, which is what’s most important.

The fact that people are willing to call him a “thug” for having four children might be the thing that gets me the most. Jenkins told Braddock that his first child was with his high school girlfriend, and his last two are with his current girlfriend. We don’t know how he cares for them. We don’t know that he’s not a part of their life. We don’t know how well he supports them. We don’t know, so why are we assuming the worst? There’s a 20 year old top five consensus pick that has kids that are three and five years old, are we questioning his character?

Plenty of professional athletes have children at a young age, and it doesn’t affect their on-field play or off-field behavior at all. It’s only because of the almost TMZ-type reporting going on today that we even know that Jenkins has four kids. Hey, not sure if you’ve noticed, but there’s a certain future hall of fame quarterback that has two kids from two different women. And, gasp, he wasn’t married to the first one.

I understand that everyone has their own beliefs and everyone has their own moral ground to stand on, but that doesn’t need to become a part of evaluation on our part.

I see Jenkins as one part poor decisions and one part unlucky. Everyone makes mistakes, but most of us lucky ones are lucky enough to not do them in the eye of police. There’s also the fact that college athletes, especially those at Florida, seemed to be able to get away with a lot without many repercussions. Urban Meyer did a good job of burying the issues, then he left and Jenkins was kicked out by Will Muschamp and forced to transfer to North Alabama.

Rooting for a team that’s given chances to Brandon Meriweather (was swinging helmets at other players during an on-field brawl), Aaron Hernandez (weed), Brandon Spikes (eye gouging, weed) and Ryan Mallett (rumored harder drugs than those that Jenkins was caught with), I would have absolutely no problem with Jenkins being a first round pick.

As Patriots fans, we should feel extremely lucky New England wasn’t one of the 31 teams that passed on Aaron Hernandez. Years from now, lets hope we feel the same about Janoris Jenkins.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Florida, Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama

58 Responses to “In Defense of Janoris Jenkins”

  1. Christina says:

    Great article Doug! He is a great young man who has came along way and is continuing to work towards change and improvement, like we all do everyday, for no one is perfect.

  2. Spreado says:

    Jenkins is the best pure corner in the draft as far as cover ability goes. I’ve watched plenty of film on him and I’m a college football junkie. As far the risk factor I believe he’s a huge risk. Past behavior patterns are very indicative of how a person will behave in the future. That’s not to say that he can’t or won’t change. But I have serious doubts. Adding millions or a few hundred thousand will only increase his reckless behavior. If you’re an elite talent at a high profile university you should know that you’re constantly being watched. Yet, he still chose to hang around the people he did, use drugs without discretion, procreate with multiple women and more. That is a lack of maturity and responsibility. You’d think having his first child would be caused him to go ” straight and narrow” but his behavior didn’t change. I do hope this young man changes it around. To earn his contract and become a very good player in this league. Talent wise we could use him, but his risk is too high and would clash with the ” Patriot way”.

  3. Dan says:

    Doug,
    You’re obviously emotionally involved with this; especially seeing you brought this up again and are getting involved with the discussion.
    It’s a good topic…the kid is very talented and is also very controvercial at this time. I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, but I can’t just ignore the “children/moral” thing. That doesn’t make for such a strong argument on your part…ignoring something that is all about character when the kid’s character is being judged. Sorry, that is life, and teams are trying to make million dollar decision on their billion dollar teams; so, please don’t be so foolish to think that these young guys aren’t going to be judged harshly because they are.
    Hernandez slipped down 2-3 rounds because of his off-field stuff, so he’s not a good example for your argument. Nobody wants Jenkins in jail, or worse, most are just saying that he isn’t worth the risk in the first. That’s it…most are saying he’ll drop to the 2nd, and some even the 3rd, but I would find it hard to see him get through the middle of the second.
    So, you disagree…you have the benefit of meeting this player, which should help give you some insight….if you can actually know someone after meeting them for a short time?
    There’s much we (draftniks) don’t know about all these players…we don’t really know their medicals and we don’t know most of their wonderlic scores and we don’t know their interviews and backgrounds. So, where they are taken will tell much more of the story.

    You’re being very defensive about Jenkins…seems personal, but your being a bit childish if you think the part of his fathering children isn’t a factor. This is reality…big bucks…teams that don’t want wasted high picks etc…The kid will have his chance to show what he can do, and he’ll also have the chance to make big bucks. That opportunity isn’t being stolen from him.

    So, we’ll see….I personally hope he tears it up and has a great career and takes care of his family and his health. I just don’t know what the reality of this kid is, but also hear the talk…the attacks, but he’s in the spotlight…he is being judged, make no mistake about that…all these kids are being judged, and fairness isn’t going to rule the day. He’s created a story, with the drugs, arrests, fight and, yes, the children…it’s his story.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      Did you read the second page?

      “The fact that people are willing to call him a “thug” for having four children might be the thing that gets me the most. Jenkins told Braddock that his first child was with his high school girlfriend, and his last two are with his current girlfriend. We don’t know how he cares for them. We don’t know that he’s not a part of their life. We don’t know how well he supports them. We don’t know, so why are we assuming the worst? There’s a 20 year old top five consensus pick that has kids that are three and five years old, are we questioning his character?

      Plenty of professional athletes have children at a young age, and it doesn’t affect their on-field play or off-field behavior at all. It’s only because of the almost TMZ-type reporting going on today that we even know that Jenkins has four kids. Hey, not sure if you’ve noticed, but there’s a certain future hall of fame quarterback that has two kids from two different women. And, gasp, he wasn’t married to the first one.”

      Eight prospects projected in the first three rounds have children with multiple women. Far more pro athletes than you may think also do. It doesn’t affect their game. Has it affected Chad Ochocinco? Has it affected Trent Richardson’s draft stock? How about Karl Malone in the NBA? Did it affect that?

      You can talk about poor decisions all you want, but if they don’t translate to the field then all it is is moral judgement.

      • Mark says:

        Think of it this way, that’s four potential NFL prospects for NFL draft 2032 from Jenkins alone…

      • TD says:

        I take it back, quite a few here are looking for ANYONE as a scapegoat. Until a person has “walked” in Jenkins’ shoes, the comments are self-righteous blatherings.

  4. TD says:

    Doug, reading a lot of these posts supports your original theory; that a lot of people want to make him a scapegoat.

    Not sure how a top CB talent ready to enter the NFL is “uncoachable.” He had to learn the position somehow, somewhere.

    IMO, the drafting team needs to look at the facts of his life and determine if he will repeat them and/or they will be a distraction.

    BB and staff have been good at filtering out such players, leaving money as the main distraction for most (Dillon, Moss).

    • Doug Kyed says:

      I honestly can’t believe how much people care to outwardly trash the guy. It’s a joke that anyone thinks he’s uncoachable because he’s had some kids and smoked some weed.

      The thought that Jenkins is not an elite corner is crazy as well. He’s be up there with Claiborne if not for all this junk. He’s an elite talent on the field and I saw first hand how good of a press corner he was during Senior Bowl practices.

      • AM says:

        As to the former, some may be trashing him or sitting in moral judgment, and some may have legitimate concerns about his behavior. On the latter, I suppose we will have to continue to disagree. The nice thing about the NFL is that eventually, the facts will speak for themselves, one way or another.

  5. Jim R says:

    I would draft him before Barron.

  6. Jeff M says:

    Honestly, the kid issue only raises one question for me. Will it distract him at all?
    Other than that I have no issues. He seems to be getting a much harder rap than what is deserved.
    No one gave this much flack about Jabaal Sheard last year, and he through a guy through a window!
    I didn’t have any problem with drafting Sheard, and heck, if this crap pushed Jenkins down to the 31st or 48th pick where the Pats could get the best or second best CB in the draft at that spot…I’d be jumping up and down! I think BB would for sure take him mid 2nd round, but I can’t see him falling that far.

  7. D.T. says:

    In my opinion, this is what’s wrong with Jenkins

    He doesn’t seem to be a coachable player. It takes a lot to get kicked out of Florida. If Hernandez and Spikes had the same issues, why did they end up as Florida captains?

    Jenkins seems to have been given all the opportunity to be on teams. He seems to have frittered those away. The Patriot player is the guy who walked on and never took anything for granted – not the guy who was freakishly talented. Sure, you can get a guy like Randy Moss or Dez Bryant or Antonio Cromartie – all solid players (in Moss’ case, a HOFer), but do you want to build around those guys? No. Those guys are 3 year rentals.

    The main issue I have is that he’s not overly talented. We’re not looking at a Patrick Peterson/Morris Claiborne/Joe Haden type of guy. He is never going to be Darrelle Revis. To me, his personal life shows indulgence.

    You ask: why are kids a big deal? For the reason that it shows a lack of self-control. He just wasn’t careful about who he messed around with. There are plenty of other players tempted in the same way who passed the test with flying colors. He shows a lack of self control in the way he handles his off-the-field life.

    I’m not being judgmental or harsh or trying to be self-righteous. If this guy wasn’t so naturally talented, we wouldn’t even be discussing him. Is the message we’re sending that talent trumps character?

    You say that isn’t important? It creates risk that he will be undisciplined. Money corrupts. And here’s why I think he’s not a Patriots pick. Bill Belichick supposedly reprimanded Welker for going to nightclubs. This is the organization that docked Gronk for posing with a porn star.

    However, I am not opposed to the pick if the Patriots do pick him. I will assume that they’ve done their diligence, interviewed him to gauge his maturity, understood what he is like, etc. However, knowing how much I know, I’d pick him in the second round.

  8. Yea boi! says:

    With Mayo, Wilfork, Slater Chung & company. All positive young men. I wouldn’t have an issue with the selection.

  9. Tom says:

    I hope the Pats somehow get:

    Michael Brockers
    Akiem Hicks
    Bruce Irvin

  10. Tom says:

    There are mistakes… and there is enabling. In my experience there is a big difference. I’m in the field, and have spent countless hours helping people with both. I guess your experience leads you to believe he’s made mistake(sss), to me it sounds like he’s been enabled. And if he wanted to change his behavior he had opportunities when:
    1) Had his first child
    2) Had second child
    3) Had third child
    4) Arrested for marijuana
    5) Arrested for marijuana
    6) Tased by the police
    7) Failed drug test at Florida
    8) Failed drug test at Florida (I hear this one is countless, ongoing)
    9) Kicked off of Florida football team (and can we all agree how difficult that is to do)

    But luckily for him, he’s realizing his mistakes when a NFL contract is on the line. Phew!

    There’s a reason he’s falling out of the first round. Michael Floyd (and probably most other guys in the draft) made mistakes… this guy’s a dumbass.

  11. Bill says:

    Sorry man, but I’m with Manxman on this one. I don’t care about the POT stuff. Maybe it should be legal or not, but lots of people do it (not me). But there is an air of irresponsibility thats troubling. Thats why there’s a draft.
    I’d prefer not to draft a CB early and get DE, OLB, and FS taken care of. he may be fine, and I’m sure BB has a line on him with 3 Gators on the roster, and a friend in Urban.

  12. Jim R says:

    If the kid gets drafted to a team with stable coaching and good leadership in the locker room, he will be fine. If he ends up in Cincy or detriot well that might not be the best thing for him

  13. Tom says:

    Are you kidding me???

    He may not have known it was the police when they were tasing him???

    How many kids, with how many women?? Do you think he’ll actually be a “father” to them all?? ….I’m a social worker in an inner-city and THIS is THE biggest problem of all. Please don’t make excuses for it.

    Do you think he’s “apologetic” because he has millions of dollars on the line??

    Doug, let me take a wild guess and say you’ll be voting for Obama in November.

    Many “young” people don’t get tased by police; don’t have NUMEROUS kids with different women; don’t get arrested numerous times for marijuana. He’s not just young, he’s a dumbass. And he’s “taking responsibility” because of $$.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      Call someone you don’t know a dumbass all you want, I’m not going to do it.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      Also, if you’re a social worker, then you should know more than anyone else that who a person is when they’re 20 years old is not who they’ll be for the rest of their lives.

    • MoeLarryAndJesus says:

      Tom’s Obama crack is the height of ignorance. I suppose he’s wearing his “I Love George Zimmerman” t-shirt.

    • Christina says:

      Tom
      Just because you may have 4 children does not mean that you can not be a loving, caring father to them all. Do you have any children? His “off-the field issues” play no obvious factor into his on the field or locker room performance. You are so quick to call someone a dumbass, you were in college once weren’t you? I can bet your job that you have done things in your life that you are not proud of, so think about those things the next time you judge someone else. Also Doug’s political preference (what ever that may be) has nothing to do with his article. You claim to be a social worker, meaning that you have a degree, show some class and act like you are educated.

    • ANB says:

      Many young people also can’t cover an NFL wide receiver.
      Also, what does politics have to do with this?

  14. qwerty says:

    1) marijuana

    the concern is whether he will be stupid enough to get caught in the situation again. probably many nfl players smoke pot but they are very discrete about it. they don’t let it become a distraction. driving around in the car with drugs is sheer stupidity. alcohol is no different. many states have severe fines for even the remotest hint of alcohol or open containers. you have to learn how to cover your ass.

    2) I forgot about how many children he has with different women, I don’t care.

    this is not about morality. he had 4 children with 3 women and he is only 23 years old. it’s about supporting the children and how he plans to do that. sure he may have an nfl career but he could also suffer an injury in the mean time to dash that hope. does he have a back up plan besides working at mcdonald’s.

    >I’m personally not willing to call another human being stupid without personally knowing them.

    if it weren’t for the many children, the other stuff would not be a big deal. the two of them together makes me suspect that he could be permanently stupid or mentally ill.

    here is a kid who is a touted high draft pick and he clearly is not even thinking how what he is doing will effect his future for when he gets to the draft even when it means really big bucks. he clearly is not looking at the impact of his future economic situation.

    it’s not about the past marijuana or children in this draft but whether he will put on the brakes and avoid being another news story in the future and getting possible suspensions in the future.

    if he could give a team a 4-5 year lull in distractions, it would be nice. maybe average 1 distraction every 5 years. he doesn’t have to be perfect. just focus on football for the coming years and cut down on the partying.

    of course if the patriots do take him and he turns into elite nfl CB, he may be a big hit to salary cap so eventually be lost to another team. he will likely go to whoever pays him the most money. he may eventually need at least 25 zillion a year to support all the children and women he has procreated with.

    i’d prefer to draft someone who is somewhat above average but does not break the bank in the future. a team can only have so many elite players at one time before it implodes. those mid tier salary players are very important.

    i don’t care whether the patriots take him or not. it is up to BB and whether he feels he can work with him.

    as far as his talent, there just isn’t a lot of film on hardly any of the CB’s doing pass coverage so I remain neutral about them all in that regard.

    not a lot of college teams have decent QB’s that pass so even harder to judge. so i leave that up to BB.

  15. Mac says:

    “Ultimately, the crux of the matter is this: Jenkins has behaved badly, and other than his personal assurances, there is no evidence that he has taken steps to change his behavior.”

    What evidence would you like to see?

    Is there evidence he has not, solid and substantiated that is not innuendo or planted?

    As for his on field talent – have you seen him play? On tape? Have you read what the “experts” have to say about his on field talent?

    He is an elite talent and not a second tier.

    • AM says:

      I presume that this was a reply to my comment. In terms of evidence, I think along the lines of Bruce Irvin, a prospect with major character concerns (much more than Jenkins). His background demonstrates taking real steps towards remedying the problems he has faced and caused (and, sadly, a recent backslide resulting in another arrest). Perhaps Jenkins has not had the practical opportunity to, for example, participate in drug rehabilitation programs; perhaps he has taken an active interest in his offspring even before being called out on it at the combine. I am simply unwilling to trust a bald statement from a man who has been caught–”I promise not to do it again” may be a sincere statement, but it is still unreliable.

      As to the question of whether there is “evidence he has not” taken steps, with due respect, that is heading towards a literal a logical fallacy–it is impossible to provide conclusive evidence of a general negative.

      Regarding the on the field abilities, not being a college football junkie, I rely primarily on tape as opposed to live observation. I am also not a football professional. However. from my observation, he looks like he could be very good. I disagree that he is “elite,” as hard as that is to quantify, because he does not appear particularly physical, is a less than solid tackler, and takes a lot of gambles. I would say that the only “elite” cornerback in this draft is Claiborne, and I would rank Jenkins in with Kirkpatrick and Gilmore.

      • DJ says:

        Agree with this. I’d like to see us grab Irwin in the 2nd. Positive steps toward improving your lot in life, like he’s taken, show maturity.

        Doug’s general point that lots of people make mistakes, especially when they’re young and disadvantaged, is right. But I want to see evidence that someone can work hard, avoid impulsivity, and focus on football.

  16. Oppitz says:

    Yeah, I would like if we get him, but disagree with most of the article.

    Arrested for drugs and 4 children with 3 wifes its really a red flag on his profile, you cant go out and say “oh, other players got caught too” or “his performance on field will not be affected because of the childrens”.

    That type of thing certainly tell us a little bit about his character and this reflect on him as a person and a teammate.

    The fact that scaries me most about his problems is that he was dismissed by the Gators. Hernandez and Spikes had problems, ok, but none of them got out.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      That’s because Meyer was around to protect them, and Percy Harvin.

      No one can prove that having children or smoking weed will affect him on the field, so if everyone else is saying it will, I’ll be here saying it won’t.

      • DJ says:

        Is that really an argument? “No one can prove X, so if everyone else is saying it, I’ll say not-X?”

        Not convinced. Maybe JJ will mature, maybe he won’t. Maybe he’s good enough that it won’t matter if he doesn’t mature. LT never did, and it didn’t matter. Who wouldn’t draft LT — coke binges, hookers and all — with the #1 overall?

        I just find the arguments here very unpersuasive. (The comparison to Brady is especially lame, the disanalogies are so obvious it’s not worth mentioning them.)

        Also: Belichick seldom drafts red flag guys in the 1st round. Of your examples, only Meriweather was a #1, and I’m betting BB regrets that pick — along with the rest of us.

        • Yea boi! says:

          So there’s a chance, even if it’s a glimmer of a possibility. And Im sure he regrets selecting far more ‘clean’ players that haven’t worked out, who didnt have character concerns. I’m betting BB regrets that pick – See what I did there?

          OH And DJ please dont speak for all fans. As you are only ONE man/woman.

        • DJ says:

          @Yea boi!:

          Huh? The point isn’t that Big Bang Clock is the only pick BB regrets, it’s that it’s the only character red flag he’s picked 1st, and it didn’t work out well: he got cut before his rookie contract was up, in part because he was such a rock head. Makes it less likely to happen again.

          Are you saying you liked the Meriweather pick?! Or just standing on some kind of principle that I can’t generalize about what almost every Pats fan thinks in retrospect. Can I speak for all of us in saying that Brady was a good pick at #199, or do I have to just speak for myself there too?

          Also: I’m not a man/woman. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

  17. AM says:

    A very well-written defense, though I disagree with most of your conclusions. I know that you say that you have no reason to defend (or presumably accuse) Jenkins, and I will certainly take you at your word on that. I do think, however, that the ultimate issue is getting lost in the emotional character of the discussion.

    The point of the debates around Jenkins, or any other prospect with “character issues,” has (or should have) absolutely nothing to do with their worth as human beings. Jenkins may be a decent young man who made childish mistakes sprinkled in with bad luck, owned up to them, and is ready to move on. He may also be a perpetual troublemaker, and the few transgressions that have come to light may be the tip of the iceberg. We really don’t know–and more to the point, we (or, at least, I) *really don’t care.*

    I love football, and the Patriots, and get way too emotional about both for my own good. That being said, even I recognize that the draft, and indeed the whole business of running a football team, is about balancing organizational needs with risk management. That is a clinical statement, but an accurate one. The question is not whether Jenkins is a good person or a bad one; not being Tim Tebow or Jay Feeley, I prefer not to judge. The questions are simply these: are Jenkins’s past issues indicative of a risk that he will cause problems for the Patriots (suspension, tantrum, lawsuit, etc.), and if so, is that risk outweighed by the benefit that he brings to the organization?

    Both questions have speculative answers. History tells us, however, that (in football as in all things) a pattern of bad behavior is likely to continue, in one form or another, unless variables contributing to the pattern change for the better. There is no indication that Jenkins’s problems are largely the product of his environment (think Bruce Irvin), and they are largely off-the-field issues; hence, I somewhat discount the suggestion (made elsewhere) that placing him in the Patriots’s strong locker room would mitigate that risk.

    If indeed Jenkins’s past behavior is indicative of a future risk, the next question must be addressed: is what he brings to the Patriots enough to mitigate the risk? On that score, I personally do not believe that his talent is such that it overcomes the risk, especially in a draft absolutely loaded with cornerback talent. Were he at the level of a Morris Claiborne, this might be a different discussion. As it is, I believe he is in the second tier of cornerbacks in this draft; all else being equal, it would be a smarter play to pick another player.

    Ultimately, the crux of the matter is this: Jenkins has behaved badly, and other than his personal assurances, there is no evidence that he has taken steps to change his behavior. We can give him the benefit of the doubt; we can presume that he is sincere in wanting to change; we can even argue that he has not yet been given the opportunity to change, and that it is unfair to judge him until he has had that opportunity (and the money from his first- or second-round contract will put him to the test). But the NFL, and every other domain, is littered with those who have promised change, and failed to follow through. A positive press conversation at the Combine, or a polite and humble conversation with a journalist, does not outweigh the facts on the record.

    I don’t judge Jenkins for being a moral or immoral person; at the most, it is clear that he is incredibly careless, but this is beside the point. I am fine with Jenkins having the chance to prove himself; I do not, however, feel that it is the Patriots’s obligation to provide it. In the unlikely event that he falls to the third round, he would be worth a pick. Otherwise, he is simply too big a risk.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      What players came in with character issues and did prove themselves worthless or washed themselves out of the league because of it?

      Especially those with weed problems or “children problems?”

      • AM says:

        While I’m certain that there are a number of players who could qualify (more research would certainly be necessary), the most prominent answer that comes to mind is Lawrence Phillips. He is obviously an extreme case, but he fits the bill.

        But with respect, I am afraid that your reply misses the point of my post: I don’t believe that I used the word “worthless” or the phrase “washed out” at all. The question for me is not whether Jenkins can contribute on the field. The question–the only question–is whether his contributions would outweigh the risk.

        In other words, if he turns into an All-Pro corner, but gets banned from the sport for a year due to repeated drug violations, is he worth the pick? If he turns into a serviceable starter, but has a Haynesworth-like three-ring circus following him around due to off-the-field issues, is he worth the pick? If he turns into a very good but not great corner, but the team media office has to field Cromartie-like questions at every turn because of off-the-field issues, is he worth the pick? Does he hurt or help the team’s reputation? Locker-room chemistry? “Brand?”

        Obviously, if we could look into the future and say he is going to be a saint, all would be well. But we cannot say this with certainty, nor could we ever with any player. All we can say is this: in all areas of life, in all professions, it is reasonable to assume that an individual who has been in trouble on multiple occasions is evincing a pattern of poor behavior. (The same would apply to computers, or cars, for that matter.) Patterns, by definition, predict future behavior as well. All else being equal (that is, assuming equal talent, equal skill, no transformative personal events, etc.), it is therefore less risky to draft a player without a pattern of poor behavior than it is to draft a player with such a pattern.

        Focusing only on the logic of my statements, can you identify a flaw in the argument? There may be one (or more than one), and I am happy to debate the issue, but I would prefer to avoid straw men–this is not about Jenkins’s morality, nor my judgment of his “character.” It is about his behavior, the risk associated with it, and an allocation of limited resources (i.e., draft picks). Nothing more.

        • Doug Kyed says:

          Well first of all, I think the Phillips and Haynesworth comparisons are unfair and off-base. Both have history of violence against women, which I think we can all agree are more serious than smoking.

          The Haynesworth comparison actually leads me to another point. Haynesworth had no well known concerns coming out of college. You never know who the trouble guys are going to be in the league,

          Obviously you have to weigh risk and skill, but as I said in my piece, Jenkins is a top ten talent that I have no problem dropping to bottom of the first because of the risk attached.

          Dropping him to the third round would be fine if his situation was more severe. Corey Dillon dropped to the second for dealing crack cocaine, Ryan Mallett dropped to the third for doing more serious drugs than Jenkins. I can’t justify dropping Jenkins out of the first round if we’re not also going to drop Michael Floyd.

        • AM says:

          (Replying here to your last comment, because out of nested replies.)

          Just to clarify, I wasn’t comparing Jenkins to either of those players. With regard to Phillips, I was just identifying a player with character concerns who had washed out of the league, per your suggestion. With regard to Haynesworth, I was using him as an example of the media attention that legal issues can bring. Certainly I agree that domestic and sexual violence are infinitely more significant than marijuana use, even repeated marijuana use that results in multiple arrests.

          And you are correct that you never know when a perceived “high character player” is going to go bad. I still believe that a history of poor behavior in any line of work is more likely to indicate continued poor behavior than future good behavior. I would be very interested to hear a logical response to the contrary, from any poster.

          As to Floyd, my response is simple: I believe that Floyd is a far better receiver than Jenkins is a cornerback. Talentwise, I think that Floyd gives Blackmon a run for his money, whereas I don’t think the same thing can be said for Jenkins and Claiborne. That being said, I think that Floyd presents at least an equally-risky pattern as Floyd, for different reasons–the number of alcohol-related incidents in Floyd’s jacket simply cannot be ignored, and that presents an even greater danger than Jenkins does. If he fell to #27 somehow, I would hesitate to select him for the very same reason (and because there is also a glut of talent at the WR position in this draft).

          Ultimately, this discussion may really just be the same as every pre-draft debate–a disagreement about how good a player is, seen through the eyes of a character question.

        • Mark says:

          Hey are we getting paid per word like Asimov used to? Because I’m still waiting for last month’s check…

        • AM says:

          Rather make the long argument well than the short one poorly. But I wish.

  18. manxman2601 says:

    @ Doug.

    I would love for Janoris to rehabilitate himself on the playing field, I’m all for redemtion. My point was that you dismissed the kids thing on morality grounds whereas I think it says more. Having said that, if the Patriots interview him and feel he has matured beyond those indiscretions, then I’d have no problem with the Pats drafting him, although there are others I think are better prospects. I hope he becomes a quality pro and wish him all the best.

    One tip though. When someone comments on your blog in good faith, don’t then trash them on twitter. It’s not very nice or professional.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      To anyone that doesn’t follow me on twitter here was the tweet “trashing” manxman2601:

      “I write 1600 words defending JJenkins’ legal troubles and the first negative comment on my article is about his kids. Shakin’ my damn head.”

      If that offended you, I’m sorry? It was merely an observation.

  19. Sam says:

    Absolutely loved this article, Doug. It’s spot on. We have both met this young man and he’s nothing like the person being profiled in the media. Love your writing, mr Kyed.

  20. manxman2601 says:

    The problem with his fathering children by numerous mothers has nothing to do with morality – at least in relation to football- and everything to do with maturity, the inability to be responsible for his actions, the lack of personal accountability and only thinking about personal gratification. And all those things speak loads about a person’s football character.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      If you think that every player’s personal life identically matches their profile on the football field, you are sorely mistaken.

      I’d like to hear when in the past four years Janoris Jenkins has seemed immature, hasn’t taken responsible for his actions, had a lack of personal accountability and was only thinking about himself on the football field. Get back to me soon and good luck.

      • manxman2601 says:

        OK, as you outed me on twitter as well, this is obviously a very touchy subject for you. I think I’ll leave it alone – you are obviously not a fan of debate.

        • Doug Kyed says:

          Haha I thought I was “debating” back to you?

          Its not a touchy subject, like I said, don’t have any personal relationship with the matter. I don’t smoke, I don’t have kids, I’m not a Gators fan. I just feel bad for Jenkins and think he’s becoming a scapegoat.

    • D.T. says:

      yeah, I agree.

    • Ryan says:

      I guess I have a little bit more in depth thought on the kids thing. While I accept Doug’s argument as true, that children and off the field matters like it will not affect a player. I think this is a stigma which goes back to Cromartie (which is a good player). To me its how dumb he looked on the Hardknocks as well as how he made the Jets organization look. I think many fans including myself are labeling Jenkins as a “Cromartie” esq player, simply because of what he said, how he said it and how he made the organization look. Not only that he is a Jet and our hatred runs deep there. But I admit its completely unfair, and if Jenkins is there at 27 (which he wont/shouldn’t be), we have a strong system should he have any issues.

      Shoot we could spend that pick in a lot worse ways.

  21. Mac says:

    Excellent, insightful and fair article.






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