There has been rampant speculation that the Raiders would trade up into the first-round of the 2011 NFL Draft to take a corner. I am not a big fan of that move, or of the Raiders making a priority of corner at all. I haven't felt that corner was a big need. Mostly because it is a deep position in free agency. Given the players they will have a chance to draft at No. 48 I think they are better served in 2011 by signing a free agent.
Now if the Raiders somehow were to land Patrick Peterson, Prince Amukamara or Jimmy Smith I wouldn't be complaining, but they would have to trade up to do so, and the only player they would be able to trade up high enough to possibly draft is Smith. That would likely cost their second and third this year, or their second and first next year—if not more. That's just too rich for my blood given the needs on the offensive line.
However, there is now a first-round corner option that makes more sense to me. Take the jump—do it.
*Update: Teams offer picks in supplemental draft. The Raiders would not be able to wait to and see if Jenkins lasts until the second-round. It would be a blind bid.
Thanks to Florida's Janoris Jenkins penchant to presumably smoke some illegal herb there is another reason for the Raiders not to make CB a priority in this draft. Jenkins was ejected from the University of Florida after a second marijuana related arrest in three months, and is now almost certainly headed to the supplemental draft.
Honestly, how do you get arrested on marijuana chargers twice in three months? It takes a little doing to get arrested for having weed on you. Of course, he was in Florida—the new land of super cops. He probably had his music up too loud. Weed is like a nuclear weapon compared to Louis Murphy's illegal Viagra. But I digress....
My point is that Jenkins is a hell of a corner. Obviously, he has a few character concerns, but they appear to weigh a little less (although close) than the baggage Jimmy Smith is carrying.
For those of you that don't know how the supplemental draft works—I had to look it up myself—I'll give you a quick rundown. Teams have draft picks in the same order they do in the regular draft. So, the Raiders will have the 17th pick. Each team will have an opportunity to draft any player in the supplemental draft, or they can pass altogether. Typically teams pass. Only two players were selected last year, and they both went in the seventh-round.
The supplemental draft typically occurs in July. The lockout could effect this, but I don't have the strength to discuss that at the moment. At some point, it will happen.
If a team does make a selection they lose the pick in the corresponding round in the following year's draft. So, if the Raiders took Jenkins in the first-round they wouldn't have a first-round in 2012. The question is what is Jenkins worth?
Jenkins was widely regarded as the best corner prospect for the 2012 draft. Earlier this off-season it was thought he would be in the 2011 Draft, and Todd McShay rated him as the third corner and 11th overall prospect.
He is 5'11" and 183 pounds. He runs the 40 in the 4.4 neighborhood. He needs to add a little strength to excel at bump and run, but he is excellent in man coverage. He has big-time, big-game experience. In two head-to-head matchups against Alabama's Julio Jones he only allowed Jones six total catches for 47 yards.
I am thinking I'd pull the trigger on him in the first. I'd want to have a visit with him first, but either way I wouldn't hesitate to take him in the second, but I'd be surprised if he lasted that long.