Exile to Excellence: Janoris Jenkins and Cliff HarrisDecember 8, 2011
“You can’t teach talent. You can change attitudes”. Anonymous
In the 2012 NFL Draft version of “Let’s Make a Deal” two of the more talented players in the pool will be Janoris Jenkins and Cliff Harris. This presumption is made if Harris decides to declare for the draft instead of enrolling at another college. Jenkins, a shutdown corner from Pahokee, Florida was once a star at the University of Florida and is now at North Alabama. Cliff Harris is in a similar situation after multiple arrests involving marijuana and traffic infractions. Harris, a junior from Fresno, California is also an supremely talented cornerback with amazing return skills. Keeping McNeese State’s Janzen Jackson in mind this years draft class at cornerback is loaded with players with first round ability that will be taken in the second or third round because of character issues.
However, Harris and Jenkins are the two best cornerbacks in college football who are not LSU Tigers. Harris is more of a zone corner with great ability to read the quarterback and using his athleticism breaks on a lot of balls. Cliff’s aggression can be his downfall as he is prone to bite on the double move. What he does bring to the table if the transition to NFL CB isn’t fluid are amazing punt and kick return skills giving him value in the middle rounds of the draft. Jenkins is the real deal having gone toe to toe with Alshon Jeffery, Julio Jones, and A.J. Green. He held Jeffrey to 6 receptions for 53 yards and no scores last season, after Jeffrey notched 6 catches for 57 yards in their first battle. Green had 4 catches for 42 yards and a score in last year’s game. In three years of playing Jenkins, Green never had a 100-yard game.
Jenkins is a top performer at CB, he is good in zone but is a monster in press man to man. I saw him with my own eyes jam Julio Jones so hard during practice for the Under Armour All-American Game that his knees buckled. Jenkins does have good return ability, but not as good as Harris. I am a firm believer that both will convert to the NFL fairly easily as talent and ability are not the concerns that make them both steals in the draft. If they can keep their noses clean Jenkins and Harris are talented enough to be superstars on the next level. Jenkins is projected as high late first round and Harris is a consensus second to early third selection. If they can put down the pot down, and at this point that has yet to be seen, and pick up the playbook the sky is the limit.
Pot free since 1943,