Panthers keeping an eye on Janoris Jenkins

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Morris Claiborne is the top cornerback in this draft class. There is a perceived big drop to the second spot at the position in April, but perhaps there won’t be such a big gap between Claiborne and the next man up on draft day.

North Alabama’s Janoris Jenkins enjoyed a strong Combine, with the best 10-yard split of any defensive back. Jenkins looked natural and fluid in his position drills, perhaps more than any other cornerback.

It’s hard to imagine Jenkins getting taken too early because of his off-field issues, but it seems more clear some team will gamble on Jenkins in the first round. Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes that Jenkins is on Carolina’s radar. They are “intrigued” with his ability and have a big need at cornerback, but they will have to do a lot research on Jenkins’ background.

There should be a lot of quality defensive linemen available when Carolina selects at No. 9. It’s hard to imagine them taking Jenkins over a pass rusher, and it’s even harder to imagine Jenkins slipping to their pick in the second round.

Either way, Carolina’s interest could be a sign Jenkins won’t fall too far in the first round.