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Checkered past follows NFL Draft cornerback hopeful Jenkins

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By Scott Brown
Monday, Feb. 27, 2012
 

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins, the biggest risk-reward prospect in the draft, didn't hide from his troubled past Sunday at the NFL Combine.

He talked openly about his three arrests, including two for marijuana possession, at the University of Florida. What teams have to decide is whether they believe Jenkins is sincere when he said he has changed.

He has arguably the best cover skills of any player in the draft and would be a sure first-round pick if there weren't character concerns. But his troubles at Florida — Jenkins said he also failed one drug test — led to his dismissal from the team and forced him to play last season at North Alabama, a Division II school.

"I admitted to everything and took full responsibility, and I learned from it," Jenkins said when asked what he told NFL teams. "It made me a stronger person."

Jenkins, 23, said he hasn't used marijuana since getting kicked out of Florida. He said providing for his mother and four children is his motivation for steering clear of the trouble that nearly torpedoed his football career.

"I've got to put that behind me, so I can be a father to my kids," he said.

> > Defensive tackle Devon Still probably helped a former teammate's draft stock at the Combine — assuming teams asked the Penn State product about the player that gave him all he could handle in college.

"Probably the toughest guy I went up against is Johnnie Troutman, just because we've been at Penn State for four years together," said Still, a projected first-round pick in the draft. "He knew all of my moves and all of my tendencies, so when I went up against him, it was just head-to-head, just who's more physical."

Troutman, a guard, is expected to go in the middle to late rounds of the draft.

> > Draft analyst Rob Rang said the Steelers would be wise to address the offensive line with their first-round pick (No. 24 overall). But Rang said mammoth defensive tackle Dontari Poe might make the most sense for them if the former Memphis standout is still available when the Steelers make their first pick.

The 6-foot-4, 346-pound Poe will play nose tackle in the NFL if he goes to a team that uses a 3-4 base defense.

"A defensive lineman with his size and his relatively light feet is a pretty rare commodity," said Rang, an analyst for www.NFLDraftScout.com.

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