Rams gamble with former Gator Jenkins


GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Today should have been the day Janoris Jenkins arrived in a new city and was introduced to the media there as a first-round draft pick.

Instead, the former Florida cornerback was sitting on a couch staring into a television camera as he waited to hear his name called.

It finally happened, as the St. Louis Rams selected Jenkins with the seventh pick in the second round, 39th overall. It probably came about 24 hours later than he should have been drafted, but Jenkins' baggage and character issues cost him a spot in the first round.

Jenkins was rated the best cornerback in the draft but his three arrests -- including two for marijuana -- and his subsequent dismissal in April 2011 by Florida coach Will Muschamp caused him to drop into the second round. It wasn't as big a drop as some projected, but it was enough to cost Jenkins a chunk of cash.

"I'm pretty sure it hurt, but that's my past," Jenkins told reporters in St. Louis, referring to his arrests and dismissal. "I have a new chapter, and I'm ready to move forward."

But there's more concern about Jenkins, who played at North Alabama in 2011, than the two marijuana arrests. He switched agents before the draft and there also was a report on NFL.com that Jenkins continued to smoke marijuana at North Alabama. Jenkins denied that to USA Today, and former North Alabama coach Terry Bowden, now at Akron, told The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post that Jenkins never failed a drug test there. Jenkins also has four children with three women.

Jenkins undoubtedly has first-round talent. But he's got seventh-round maturity and the Rams might have taken the biggest gamble of the NFL draft.