Cornerback Janoris Jenkins is one of the more common picks for the Detroit Lions in NFL mock drafts. That was the case last year before the decision was made to not enter the NFL Draft, and it remains the case this year now that he is a potential pick.
One of the reasons why he didn't go pro a year ago is because of character concerns. He transferred to North Alabama after being kicked off the team at Florida, and the character issues he dealt with last year are still a hot topic. To make a long story short, here's a quick recap of what exactly the character concerns revolve around:
Jenkins says he's being completly honest with teams. He's been arrested three times, failed one drug test at Florida and has four kids.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) February 26, 2012
All of those issues may scare teams away, but give credit to Jenkins for being open about them. That's a much better approach than trying to blame mistakes on other people, and while you can't change the past, Jenkins certainly seems inclined to change things going forward. Case in point:
Jenkins on marijuana: "I’m done with it forever, man. I can’t do it. I can’t let myself do it again."— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) February 26, 2012
As for what approach the Lions take to players with character concerns, here is what Martin Mayhew said at the combine:
"We’ve talked to Janoris at the Senior Bowl and plan to talk to some other guys here who’ve had some off-the-field situations, and we evaluate those on an individual basis," Mayhew said. "I think the key thing is to go into it with an open mind. (You can’t) go into it with, ‘I read this about this guy so I’m pre-judging him and I think he’s going to be this way.’
"We just go into it and just have a conversation with him about their past and about their future, really. That’s what’s really important is what their future is."
The Lions extensively looked at Jimmy Smith's character concerns last year during the pre-draft evaluation process, and I would expect Jenkins to get a similar look this year.