On Friday, April 27, the St. Louis Rams selected North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins with the 39th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The Rams then picked up Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson to start the third round. The Rams went high risk, high reward and I liked it.
I know the team took some major risks on day two of the draft, but I’m ecstatic with the players that the Rams chose. Janoris Jenkins is a mid-to-early first round talent and a shutdown corner who has the ability to change a game on a dime. I know there are concerns about his character, and I understand that the Rams are taking a huge leap of faith with this kid. However, I also know that players on the defense like James Laurinaitis, Quintin Mikell and Cortland Finnegan aren’t going to let Jenkins get out of line.
Jenkins was up front about his past during his introductory conference call with the media. When asked about how his past affected his draft status, Jenkins said, “I mean, I’m pretty sure it hurt it, but that’s my past. I’ve got a new chapter and I’m happy to be a Ram now, so I’m going to put that in my past and I’m ready to move forward.”
Hopefully, he is ready to move forward. If he does have a hard time staying in line (which I do not see Fisher and Co allowing), I believe the team will rein him in. There’s a new sheriff in town and he has a big mustache. I know it was a risky pick, but Jenkins has too much talent to pass up.
You never know what you’re going to get from the small schools. However, Trumaine Johnson was one of the highest rated prospects to come out of the Big Sky Conference for a reason. Johnson is a playmaker who can cover almost anyone he lines up against.
However, like Jenkins, he also comes with baggage. When speaking to the speaking to the media after the Rams picked him, Johnson explained the incident that got him in hot water during a party last October.
“I just decided to throw a party after a win,” Johnson said. “It got loud. The cops came and shut it down. As we were shutting it down, one of my buddies got tazed, so I went over there to try to see what was going on and I got tazed. We both got booked and arrested.”
“I got charged with disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer, and resisting arrest, but they dropped two of the three. They dropped obstructing an officer and resisting arrest. I got charged with the disorderly conduct. I’m going to have to pay that fee, and that was it.”
Four Pillars be damned, I’m choosing to believe in general manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher. They’ve spent a lot of time evaluating these kids, and I have to be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
The Rams have some work to do, but if Jenkins and Johnson do work out, then at least the secondary will be set for years to come.