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NFL Supplemental Draft: Why Bills Should Go After Florida CB Janoris Jenkins

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 13: Janoris Jenkins #1 of the Florida Gators gets the crowd up during a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Matt CContributor IIIApril 27, 2011

Every summer since 1977, the NFL has held a Supplemental Draft in which players that weren't eligible for the draft in April can still be added to NFL rosters.

In the case of Florida CB Janoris Jenkins, it will provide an opportunity to rectify what in hindsight was a terrible decision.

It was falsely reported last January that Jenkins had decided to declare early for the 2011 NFL Draft.  The national pundits viewed him as a top-15 pick had the rumor been true.  One can reasonably speculate that he had hopes of being selected very high in 2012, as opposed to miles behind LSU's Patrick Peterson and Nebraska's Prince Amukamara. 

After yet another embarrassing off-field incident for the Florida program, new head coach Will Muschamp decided to dismiss his top defensive back.  While Jenkins may still wish to play more college football to boost his stock, he will most likely declare himself for the Supplemental Draft.  It has been reported he is already seeking an agent.

Jenkins rap-sheet is a lengthy one.  In 2009, he was arrested for fighting and resisting arrest.  According to Jenkins, the fighting escalated because he feared the individual was trying to steal his gold necklace. 

Last January (right after he decided to return to Gainesville), he was charged with a misdemeanor for possession of under 20 grams.  Earlier this week, he was charged with an identical misdemeanor.  With two drug related arrests in a three month span, the team decided it had had enough of Janoris' antics.

Jenkins is clearly a troubled guy, but I feel there are some situations a team can take a risk.  Ever since the Bernie Kosar heist of 1985, the NFL uses a "semi-random" draft order for the Supplemental Draft.  Presumably, the Bills would still be close to the top of that list.  There are always going to be teams taking big risks (e.g. the Cowboys), but I would be surprised if a team is willing to give up their 1st round pick in 2012 for a guy with such a checkered past.

However, I could live with putting a 2nd rounder on the table in the hopes of that scenario playing out.  The importance of character cannot be overstated, but there are differing types of character problems.  For instance, I took Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel off my draftboard for his abusive nature towards women. 

While two arrests in three months is pretty bad, pot is not the worst character issue in the world.  I'm not a hippie or condoning it, but I feel it shows a young kid showing poor judgment more than anything.  Percy Harvin, Warren Sapp, and Lee Evans were all viewed as potential drug abusers after testing positive in college.

A team can recover from whiffing on a 2nd with a good 1st and 3rd round pick (if the gamble fails to pay off).  It's pretty tough to recover from using a No. 1, though.  That's why, weighing risk vs. reward, I would take a shot on Jenkins.  Getting a top cornerback prospect for a 2nd round pick is the type of draft-day robbery that a team needs in order to take that next step towards winning championships.  If a team wants him bad enough to bid a first round pick for him, let them have him.

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