Charles Woodson was the last cornerback to the win the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. That was 1998. The St. Louis Rams believe that Janoris Jenkins has a solid case to be the next first-year defensive back to take home the honor.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network shared some insight into why the team thinks Jenkins deserves consideration from voters:
I spoke with Rams folks this week, and though they conceded that he's had his moments gambling and missing, they said they feel that, on balance, he's been playing at a Pro Bowl level through this season, and cited a few different reasons. First, there's the degree of difficulty in the position he's put in as a man corner. Second, there's the fact that they already view him as one of the NFL's top tackling corners, evidenced best, perhaps, by how he ran down and stopped Peterson late against the Vikings in Week 15 to keep the Rams within two possessions. Third, there's how his big plays have, almost always, come in critical junctures. Now, St. Louis isn't out of the woods yet when it comes to this draft-day gamble; let's let the kid get through an offseason without incident first. But things are looking really good right now for a player many scouts put in the talent ballpark of Joe Haden and Darrelle Revis.
Tackling doesn't get enough mention in the praise for Jenkins. That's kind of a shame considering how bad it was among Rams corners in recent years.
Award or not, the Rams are in good shape going forward with Jenkins on the roster.