Last season, expectations were high for the second-year cornerback Janoris Jenkins. His play might have been up and down his rookie season, but he made splash plays with four interceptions and three touchdowns. That was great, especially for a rookie, and because of that, it was easier to look past his imperfections. However, last season those imperfections came to light more often than anyone thought they would.
Jenkins is an interesting player. He's a gambler on the field, and he has the fluid hips, speed and body type for a good corner. Coming into the league many called Jenkins one of the best man cover corners in the draft, hell, many people said he could play almost any type of coverage. However, that hasn't been the case so far in his career. When he plays off the receiver they beat him on short routes, and then there are times when he just flat out get's beat.
Here's Matt Miller from Bleacher Report on Jenkins. Jenkins ranked 69 out of 100 corners in his list.
After bursting onto the scene in his rookie year, Janoris Jenkins (5’10", 198 lbs, two seasons) came back to reality during his sophomore campaign. He is an aggressive corner who isn’t afraid to take chances and gamble on plays. That often leaves him out of position, which allows big plays to go the other way. This resulted in him giving up seven touchdowns, the fourth-most among cornerbacks. He possesses all the skills you look for in a shutdown corner, but he needs to learn when to go for a big play and when to play it safe and live for another down.
Let's look at the ProFootballFocus.com stats for Jenkins. He ranked 59 on their list of corners throughout the league. He's worst games were against the Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers (damn you Steve Smith). He had the second most penalties in the league, and quarterbacks averaged a passer rating of 115.3 against him. However, he did have 12 pass deflections.
To me the biggest issue that Jenkins has is consistency and awareness. Let's look at this play GIF'd by Brandon Bate.
This play is Week 17 against the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson sees one-on-one coverage with Jenkins on Golden Tate. The route looks kind of funky to me so I won't comment on it. Jenkins is in okay position, until he decides to look up for the ball, when he does, he loses Tate and also ends up misjudging the ball. Jenkins is in a bad spot and he can't raise his arm high enough because he's balanced and can't jump high.
Jenkins has all the traits of being a pretty good cornerback, it's the little things that bother him. It will be interesting to watch the development of Jenkins under the Rams new defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams. This is Jenkins third year. It's doubtful that the Rams have given up on him, but he will have to make some strides this upcoming season.