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Jenkins: NFL teams expect him to be 'thuggish kid'


By now, you've heard of Janoris Jenkins, perhaps for all the wrong reasons.

NFL Network's Albert Breer reported earlier this month on Jenkins' continued drug use at Division II North Alabama, after he was dismissed from Florida. Concerns over Jenkins' character stain his otherwise intriguing record as one of the draft's top cover corners.

On the field, he's a bona fide first-round talent. But teams desire to know more about Janoris Jenkins, the person, before investing millions of dollars on his potential.

Jenkins says general managers and coaches have been surprised by what they've encountered during his recent team visits.

"Certain teams told me they thought I would be a thuggish kid with baggy jeans or one of those wild guys," Jenkins told Aaron Wilson of "When they meet me, they see I'm not a bad kid. I just made some mistakes, and everybody makes mistakes.

"The NFL is going to get a good person. Whoever gets me will get a competitor, somebody who works hard, a team player and a shutdown cornerback. Whoever skips over me, they're going to regret it now and later."

We've heard all this before, but it does raise questions about how teams will handle this dilemma. Remove Jenkins' off-field antics, and we'd likely be talking about him as a top-10 talent. As it stands, reports have Jenkins removed from a handful of teams' draft boards altogether.

Breer spoke with multiple front-office personnel from around the league. They were in unison in their concern over Jenkins' past.

"It's not just his personal situation with the kids and different moms. This is a multiple offender of the drug policy in college, and it's not like there were no character concerns at North Alabama," one AFC personnel executive told Breer. "He had multiple opportunities to get away from it. He didn't at Florida, and he went to North Alabama and he wasn't clean there."

Team visits matter -- they're a chance to dig down beyond media reports and chatter and look a guy in the eyes. If a team believes Jenkins is serious about what's ahead -- and if he is -- he'll have his chance to prove his doubters wrong.


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