clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2012 NFL Draft: Thinking About Janoris Jenkins Again

New, comments
Feb 28, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; North Alabama defensive back Janoris Jenkins participates in pass interception drills during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 28, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; North Alabama defensive back Janoris Jenkins participates in pass interception drills during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The Bengals are in need of a cornerback to replace Johnathan Joseph, we all know that. Even though they have re-signed Adam Jones, signed Jason Allen and have Nate Clements for another year, the only corners under contract for the 2013 season with any real experience are Leon Hall and Allen. The team needs a new starting cornerback to play alongside Hall that is young and talented.

For now, it's assumed that the Bengals will address the cornerback position in the first round of the draft. This is a very deep class at the cornerback posiiton, including guys like Morris Claiborne, Dre Kirkpatrick and Stephon Gilmore. Each one of these guys could eventually start for the Bengals and play well opposite of Leon Hall.

One more cornerback is worth mentioning as well. Janoris Jenkins is considered a top talent at cornerback in this year's draft, but his off-field concerns have caused teams to shy away and his name has mostly been dropped from first round discussions.

Should it be, though?

According to NFL Films' Greg Cosell, Janoris Jenkins, based on his game tape, Jenkins could be considered the top corner in this year's draft class.

Many believe in level of comp. By that standard Jenkins (purely on tape) might be best CB. Won matchups v. AJ Green, J. Jones, Jeffery. 14 hours ago via web · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto

It's true that the Bengals have never really shied away from taking chances on players with character concerns. They overlooked Bernard Scott's concerns and it seems to have paid off (if you consider Scott as a major contributor), but it has also burned them in the past as well (Odell Thurman among others). The Bengals have set themselves up, by having players like Rey Maualuga, Jerome Simpson and Adam "Pacman" Jones, to be the punchline of bad-boy jokes around the league. Adding Jenkins wouldn't help.

However, adding Jenkins could help the secondary. If he truly is the best cornerback in this year's draft class when it comes to coverage, having him opposite of Leon Hall could open up the entire defense, allowing Mike Zimmer to have a much more elaborate pass-rushing scheme because he's comfortable leaving his corners on an island.

The big question is whether or not they would they feel comfortable with the level of risk they'd be taking with Jenkins? Here's what they would be taking on if they use a first-round pick on him:

He was dismissed from Florida for being arrested twice for marijuana possession within three months, in 2009 he was arrested on misdemeanor charges of being involved in a fight and fleeing police, and on top of all that he revealed that he has four kids from three different women at the age of 23.

Adam Jones may be a little more well behaved now, but he was a character concern coming out of college and look what happened to him through his first few years in the league. The last thing the Bengals should want to do is make a mistake by drafting the next young Pacman. However, if they do select him and he keeps his head on straight, they could hit the lottery.

What do you think, Bengals fans? Is Jenkins worth the risk?