Could Pats absorb troubled CB Jenkins?

684080.jpg

Could Pats absorb troubled CB Jenkins?

Last April, the troubled son of the NFL Draft was Ryan Mallett.

Attitude concerns and rumors of drug use sent his stock freefalling and -- in a draft where more than a quarter of the league was shopping for quarterbacks -- Mallett fell to the team with the best quarterback in the league, the Patriots.

(Read this feature by one of the best writers out there, ESPN's Elizabeth Merrill).

This year's Mallett is North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins.

Chased out of Florida, the lanky corner ended up in Division II. Now, he's trying to put a buff-and-shine on his reputation with the NFL Draft less than a month away.

Jeffri Chadiha spent time with Jenkins and laid out the issues and concerns in this piece.

Some team is going to roll the dice on Jenkins the same way the Patriots did on Mallett. It has to be a team with a strong program in place. It has to be a team with a no BS locker room and solid leadership and workers in the secondary group to ensure Jenkins sees what being a pro is about. It has to be a team where the head coach and personnel man is empowered to turn in a card with Jenkins' name on it and not worry about how his job security will be affected if Jenkins goes South.

A team like the Patriots is the kind of team that will most likely draft Jenkins.

Could it be the Patriots? Some experts -- including ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. -- think so. Kiper has the Patriots taking Jenkins with the 31st pick in the first round in his most recent mock draft.

The pros to Jenkins are that he's a plug-and-play corner who could walk in and play the "star" position in the Patriots defense right away. At 5-10, 192, he's got good length. During his time at Florida, he dealt with the A.J. Greens and Julio Jones' and more than held his own.

But demon weed and Gainesville's proximity to Jenkins' hometown of Pahokee conspired to make Florida coach Will Muschamp throw up his hands.

Bill Belichick is tight enough with Muschamp to get the skinny on whether Jenkins -- already a father of four children -- can overcome the obstacles he's erected for himself.

Belichick also is tight enough with former Florida coach Urban Meyer to find out if the player Meyer recruited out of high school is, at his core, a decent kid.

If it's established that Jenkins could succeed, the next most important step would be making sure he's surrounded by pros. The 2009 secondary group? Not pros. The 2012 secondary group? Pros.

Among the corners, Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Sterling Moore take their jobs with seriousness. Same with safeties Patrick Chung, James Ihedigbo and the other core players back there.

And it goes without saying that Belichick has the sway to go whichever way he wants during the draft and be above reproach from analysts who practically race to buzz in and say, "Brilliant move there by the Patriots and Bill Belichick..." as draft coverage unfolds.

The only question is whether the Patriots see all-important value in a player like Jenkins.

"Whenever you take any player you have everything that comes with them. So, whatever that is, their personality, their size, their speed their instincts, their . . . everything," Belichick said when asked about weighing conduct concerns. "You get the whole thing, so put them all together, its a mosaic of components and thats what you have and you put some kind of value on it. Whatever thats worth.

We'll find out what it's worth as it relates to Jenkins in less than a month.

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

red_sox_chris_young_041116.jpg

Saturday's Red Sox-Royals lineups: Young in LF, Hill at 3B vs. KC lefty Duffy

The Red Sox look to end their three-game losing streak tonight when the play the middle game of their three-game series with the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

Against Royals' left-hander Danny Duffy (11-1, 2.66 ERA), the Red Sox start right-handed hitters Chris Young in left field and Aaron Hill at third base. Duffy has won his past 10 decisions and came into Saturday with the fifth-best ERA in the American League. He joined the rotation from the bullpen on June 1.

Left-hander David Price (12-8, 4.00) gets the start for the Red Sox. Price has won his past three decisions, going eight, six and eight innings and not allowing more than three runs in each start. 

The Royals won the series opener 6-3 Friday night.

The lineups:

ROYALS
Paulo Orlando CF
Cheslor Cuthbert 3B
Lorenzo Cain RF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Salvador Perez C
Alex Gordon LF
Alcides Escobar SS
Christian Colon 2B
---
Danny Duffy LHP

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Sandy Leon C
Chris Young LF
Aaron Hill 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
---
David Price LHP

Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, after a busy morning celebrating my 3-year-old’s birthday at the trampoline park. Yee-ha.

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri says that adding toughness was a big offseason priority for the Montreal Canadiens.

*There’s at least one big fan of the Edmonton Oilers trade that brought defenseman Adam Larsson from the New Jersey Devils, and that fan’s name is Mark Letestu.

*Here’s everything you need to know about the Ice Guardians movie premiering this fall that takes a long, balanced look at the NHL enforcers.

*Roberto Luongo has an alibi for the robbery in Winnipeg with one suspect getting away in goalie equipment, and it’s funny as you would expect it to be.

*CSN Washington takes a look at the New York Rangers in their season previews for the Metro Division.

*I’m not entirely sure whether this “RIP Harambe” thing is genuine or meant to be ironic by the largely millenial group that seem so enamored with it, but I think it’s just stupid. I think the same with the crying Jordan meme…also stupid.

*For something completely different: a look at how Triumph the Insult Comic Dog learned how to poop on Trump’s politics.

 

Report: Patriots sign LB Jonathan Freeny to two-year extension

freeny.jpg

Report: Patriots sign LB Jonathan Freeny to two-year extension

The Patriots have signed backup linebacker and special teamer Jonathan Freeny to a two-year contract extension through 2018, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported.

Freeney, 27, was originally signed by the Patriots to a one-year free-agent deal in March 2015 after spending the first four years of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins. He then earned a one-year extension last September and played 13 games, seven starts, with 50 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. 

"Jonathan is a very dependable player," Bill Belichick said on a conference call Saturday. "He is able to do a lot of different roles for us. He can play inside, outside, on the line of scrimmage and off the ball defensively. He has been a very valuable player for us in the kicking game, obviously with some size, a four-phase special teams player.

"He is one of our overall top workers in terms of the offseason program, preparation, training. He always does things right. He works hard, doesn't really say a lot, but is very dependable and consistent. I think everybody in the organization looks up to him."