Plenty of controversy has been stirred up as a result of the St. Louis Rams’ recent draft choices getting into some hot water. The team hasn’t exactly been selecting the Tim Tebows of the world under the watch of the Jeff Fisher and Les Snead regime. But the win total increased in year one and this is a results oriented business. The fact remains that the team must keep all of these potential headaches from manifesting into migraines.
With Janoris Jenkins, just one incident last season occurred with the club’s most controversial 2012 NFL Draft pick. During the team’s Week 11 tilt on the road at the San Francisco 49ers, both Jenkins and then fellow rookie Chris Givens were suspended for the game due to undisclosed team rules violations. They were also forced to run the stadium stairs on the morning of gameday and stand on the sideline rather than suit up for the contest.
Aside from that one snafu, the 2012 season was a terrific debut for Jenkins. He showed why many touted him as a top 10 talent on the field as he scored three defensive touchdowns and corralled four interceptions. Jenkins has greatly benefited from having a veteran like Cortland Finnegan on his opposite to learn from, and that experienced presence is sure to rub off on the youngster.
Another troublemaker from the 2012 draft class in Trumaine Johnson joins Finnegan and Jenkins at the corner spot on the depth chart, but there really is little to no competition for the starting jobs this coming season. Undrafted rookie Brandon McGee out of Miami (Fl) is also on the depth chart and figures to be used in dime situations.
During training camp, seeing Jenkins display some more consistency in his game is going to be vital to the development process. While he did have a great rookie season, there were some performances that left you wondering what was going on between the ears of the youngster. He will have some training camp battles against the speedy first rounder from this past April in Tavon Austin to help refine his coverage skills and really test his limits as a corner.
All in all, the Rams should expect big things from Jenkins as he progresses into year two of his NFL career. The club has to hope that his ability to turn good defense into offense continues this season with a few more defensive scores. Staying out of trouble is huge for this former draft risk, and he needs to prove Fisher and Snead right for taking a chance on him. If all goes to plan, the Rams should see some serious progress from their now second-year starting corner in 2013.