On April 1st 2012 2:25 P.M. EST, NFL agent Kyle Gouchenour revealed on his twitter page that troubled defensive back Janoris Jenkins is going to fire his current agents at CAA .This decision may seem small, but it is indicative of a bigger problem. No one knows what Janoris Jenkins is going to do next.
Teams will overlook at who a player's agent is if that player is talented and has a solid body of work. However for someone with so many questions already unanswered, why add another problem into the mix? Athletes in situations like this need strong public mentors, and it looks like the closer it gets to draft day, the more people are either backing up or being pushed away from the talented corner.
The next week is a pivotal week for his draft stock, and all eyes will be on him. There are a few steps he should take to ensure that his stock falls as little as possible.
1. Find a smart agent who has experience helping players with character issues toward the right path. He doesn't need to be a well known figure to everyone in the league, but coaches need to know that he has someone representing him that can be a good mediator between the two parties. Also, an agent that fits that description would probably have a few PR guys that know how to make a player look good.
2. Speaking of PR, he needs to meet with Tony Dungy. As the man who helped redeem Michael Vick, Dungy is the perfect man for Jenkins. However hokey it sounds, I am a believer in the idea that the former Colts' head coach knows how to make a player really think about what he is doing and why he is doing it. He is also one of the faces of Sunday Night Football, and a well known public figure that might speak out in favor of the newest person to mentor underneath him.
3. Stay out of trouble and learn to be humble. Reports are that he has been unimpressive in private team meetings and leaves teams feeling like something isn't right. Things like that can cause your stock to nose dive even if you have a lot of talent. Let's not forget that his repeated issues off the field have caused his precipitous fall from a top 10 talent to an early second rounder. Now not even that is assured. He needs to lay low and show teams that he isn't an attention hog or a troublemaker.
In the end, this will be a huge indicator of his maturity level. On one hand, he can seek a mentor and try to straighten this situation out before he loses control. On the other, he can live how he wants to and make his own decision. One path leads to a greater chance of being picked up on day one, and the other can easily cause him to fall down to the middle of day three. It is in the former Gator's hands now, and all anyone else can do is sit back and see what this young man is really made of.
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