Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
Judged merely on his on-field play, Janoris Jenkins could have been the first cornerback taken in the 2012 NFL draft. Unfortunately, the Rams' rookie's college career didn't go as smoothly as he may have hoped. That's why St. Louis was able to bite when they saw the talented player still waiting for them with the 39th overall pick in the second round. It was a steal for the Rams, because if Jenkins can keep his nose clean, he could wind up being the best defensive player in his rookie class. Jenkins was arrested three times during his college career, and the final run-in with the law booted him from the University of Florida. Jenkins was forced to transfer to Division 2's North Alabama, where he was criticised for not dominating lower competition, even though he was rarely thrown at. Jenkins was arrested first in May of 2009 for assault and resisting arrest when he punched a man trying to steal his gold chain. He then ran from police when he was tased. His second arrest came in January of 2011 for marijuana possession and he was arrested a third time in April of 2011 by the same police officer for a similar charge. That's when new Florida head coach Will Muschamp made an example out of him and canned him from the team. Jenkins naturally faced a lot of criticism during the pre-draft process, not only for his arrests, but also for fathering four children by three mothers and for switching agents because he felt like he wasn't being given enough attention. Because of his previous trouble, these relatively common things among NFL draft prospects caused a lot of attention, and false accusations were thrown out there -- likely by NFL teams that wanted him to drop in the draft -- that he continued to fail drug tests at North Alabama and that he was fired by his agent, rather than vice versa. It's only been seven months since Jenkins was drafted by the Rams, but it's looking like one of the best decisions general manager Les Snead has ever made. Not only has Jenkins kept out of trouble, but he's also displaying the skills that should have made him a first round pick. Sure, Jenkins has had his ups and downs as is expected of all rookie cornerbacks, but he's starting on one of the top secondaries in football. Jenkins also has a solid mentor to look up to playing across from him. Cortland Finnegan is infamous for his on-field issues, but has stayed out of trouble off the field as a pro since getting arrested for a DUI in 2006. Finnegan also attended a sub-FBS school -- Samford University -- and is a similar player to Jenkins. Both players are 5-foot-10, 190 pounds and both players are known for their physical play. Jenkins excels in press coverage, jamming opposing wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. Finnegan can take down much bigger receivers by throwing off their routes with pushes and jabs at the line of scrimmage. Together they make a tiring pair sure to cause bumps and bruises all over the opposition. It almost seems unfair that the Rams were able to add Jenkins and Finnegan over the offseason to immediately improve their league-worst 2011 secondary. The Patriots have the pair to deal with on Sunday in London and could have trouble with their physical play, as they did when they faced the imposing Seattle secondary. Jenkins may have mental lapses as a rookie, but as long as Finnegan is watching over him, he should be able to stay out of trouble off the field and continue to be one half of one of the most promising cornerback pairs in the league. If everything goes the Rams' and Jenkins' way, the 28 teams that passed on him will be kicking themselves for not taking a risk on the talented player. Photo via Facebook/Rams

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL

Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'


Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

Panthers coach replaces break-in victims’ Christmas presents

Kevin Garnett: ‘very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

The year’s 10 most notable sports media stories

'Roberto' Gronkowski wishes Pats fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.