USA TODAY Sports
The Rams were lucky that Janoris Jenkins fell into the 2nd round. He was a starter from the moment he was drafted. And although he had a good season, he's not mentioned along the other defensive rookies. Here's a case for him to at least be in the running.
The St. Louis Rams drafted young, troubled Janoris Jenkins in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, with one of their trio of second round picks. While the other two players in the second round struggled to touch the field, Jenkins was a starter from the beginning of the season until the end.
Jenkins had his ups and downs, but he was a defensive playmaker that the Rams desperately needed. The Rams had a solid defense this season, but Jenkins' name isn't even talked about for defensive rookie of a year. That's an outrage.
He does have some stiff competition this season, but to not even hear Jenkins' name among the other rookies is a huge oversight. Granted when you have fellow rookies like Luke Kuechly, Bobby Wagner, Harrison Smith, and the player most likely to win the award Casey Hayward, it's a tight race.
Let's take look at the linebackers
Bobby and Luke, both of these players play middle linebacker, for their respective teams. Bobby had 140 tackles and 68 stops (basically solo tackles that count as offensive failures, sort of like sacks.), Luke was moved from outside linebacker to the middle after a few games, and he finished the season with 164 tackles and 67 stops.
Both players had real good seasons, and deserve to be considered for defensive rookie of the year.
Now let's look at Harrison Smith and Casey Hayward.
Both of these rookie defensive backs are also impressive. In fact, both of them should rank above the rookie linebackers, in my personal opinion.
Safety Harrison and corner Casey. Wow, just the numbers on these two players are incredible. Harrison ended the season with 11 pass deflections, 3 interceptions, 2 TDs, 1 forced fumble, and 103 tackles. Casey numbers were also good, 21 pass deflections, 6 interceptions, 1 forced fumble and 53 tackles. but no touchdowns.
Now, let's look at Jenkins' numbers. 73 tackles and four interceptions, four touchdowns and 13 pass deflections. Not as splashy as the other player numbers. If you look at the percentage of catches against him, it's also disappointing. But, there's something that he has going for him, he's an outside corner.
When you look at the numbers, especially Casey's, you have to be impressed. But, Jenkins was opposite of the other teams' best wide receivers, and not making plays against slot receivers. Especially, when the season first started. There was no reason to target Cortland Finnegan, when there's a young rookie corner on your star player. So when you consider who Jenkins was playing against, his numbers are comparable, to the other defensive backs.
As you're reading this, I'm assuming the majority of you are saying, yeah, whatever Tevin, he was okay, but Casey and Harrison were better. Maybe, honestly, I'm more impressed with Harrison than Casey, and I would place Jenkins second. It's just hard to overlook Harrision's 100+ tackles.
Sadly, Jenkins won't win the award, mainly because of the fact that he was playing against the best, so soon, in his career. But he should at least be in the running.
Who do you think will win defensive rookie of the year? Leave a comment and tell us.