NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin took up the cause of cornerback Janoris Jenkins as a high pick in comments to USA Today on Wednesday.
The former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver downplayed Jenkins’ off-the-field issues, including being kicked off the team at Florida amid multiple marijuana-related arrests and argued Jenkins should be a high pick in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night.
“A cornerback like that with that attitude and that skill set is a rare find in this league,” Irvin said. “It takes some kind of psychological instability to do what they do. Some guy just went 80 yards on you and you’ve got to turn right around and step up like you’re still the baddest man in the world. Him being crazy, I like. I just don’t want him being crazy and making bad decisions off the field.”
Irvin had his own bumps in the road during his Hall of Fame career, and he seems to think the gifted North Alabama prospect has the same potential for greatness.
“You can’t play a game like football with all choir boys. You need somebody that is a Janoris Jenkins,” Irvin said.
“You put him in a live city with a lot of things going on, that’s one issue. You put him in a boring city, with nothing going on, that’s another issue. Idle minds become the devil’s workshop. Whatever you do, you’ve got to put people with him. You can’t wait around for him to mess up, you have to get ahead of it.”