AFC West: Janoris Jenkins

After reading the transcript from John Elway’s press briefing Thursday night, it is clear to see why the Broncos traded down twice and eventually out of the first round.

They didn’t think anybody was worthy of a first-round pick where they were picking and they wanted to add picks. Denver now has the No. 36 pick in the second round and added No. 101, in the fourth round. Denver has two picks in the second round, one in the third round and three in the fourth round. I would be surprised if the Broncos don’t try to add another third-round pick and get four picks on Friday.

I think Denver decided to trade down once defensive tackles Dontari Poe, Fletcher Cox and Michael Brockers were off the board by the 14th pick. Denver originally had the No. 25 pick, then traded to No. 31 before going to No. 36.

“Everyone else saw the talent that we saw too,” said Elway, Denver’s top decision-maker. “When those guys started going like that, they went in a hurry. We thought we were going to have to get a little bit lucky for them to fall to us anyways. They’re good football players and when they didn’t get to us that gave us the opportunity to start moving back a little bit.”

Elway made it clear that the Broncos would rather stockpile picks than make a reach, thus the trades with the Patriots and the Buccaneers.

“When we looked at where we were, obviously we had some guys targeted that didn’t quite make it to us in 25, so we had some opportunities to move back with New England to pick up a fourth. We liked that, thought that was great,” Elway said. "Then, when we had a chance to move back from 31 to 36 with Tampa again, our board looked the same. We thought we’d be able to get the same people at 36 that we could at 31 -- or have the same pool of players there at 36 as we did at 31. By doing that we moved up 25 spots to the top of the fourth, which we really believe this is a deep draft. It’s not real thick at the top, but it’s pretty deep through the middle rounds. We thought by adding another good pick it gives us more options going into tomorrow. Plus, we’ll still be able to get the same people that we had targeted that made it to us at 25 at 36. We’re excited about the day. Obviously it’s a little bit of a downer when you don’t have a new player. But, we’re excited about where we sit and the next two days are going to be exciting.”

Among the players Denver could target at No. 36 with their top pick Friday are Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, Connecticut defensive tackle Kendall Reyes, Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill, LSU receiver Rueben Randle, North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins, Cincinnati defensive tackle Derek Wolfe and Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David. I think we could see Denver try to get a quarterback Friday as well.
Weekend mail call:

J. from Colorado wants to know if the Broncos could draft Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Bill Williamson: The Broncos have studied Cousins and they like him. He will likely be taken in the second round. I would not be shocked if Cousins ends up in Denver. However, I think the Chiefs could also take him. Kansas City has the No. 44 overall pick in the second round, and the Broncos pick at No. 57.

Daniel Velez from Florida wants to know if North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins would be a target of the Raiders at the No. 95.

BW: I’m sure Oakland would do back flips to get a player of Jenkins’ ability. But it is highly unlikely he will be available that late in the draft. Yes, there are serious character concerns about Jenkins. He is a top-20 talent, and I can’t see him tumbling past the first 50 picks. Perhaps Oakland could consider trading up to grab Jenkins, but I just don’t see him sitting there for them at No. 95.

Jonathan Pierce from Newport Beach, Ca., wants to know Oregon running back LaMichael James could be a target in Denver.

BW: The past couple of mock drafts Mel Kiper Jr. have compiled has James pegged for Denver in the second round. He would be a terrific change of pace runner and receiving option out of the backfield. I just wonder if the Broncos are looking for a more sturdy back. But I could see him being on Denver’s draft board.
An interesting cornerback option prior to the start of the 2011 season for the Oakland Raiders may have developed Tuesday.

The University of Florida has dismissed cornerback Janoris Jenkins after his second misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in three months. He could interest the Raiders if he enters the supplemental draft this summer.

In January, ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay had Jenkins as the No. 11 overall draft prospect for the 2011 draft. In Mel Kiper’s 2011 draft report book, Jenkins is listed at the No. 1 rated cornerback prospect for the 2012 draft.

Because of his dismissal, Jenkins will likely be a candidate for the supplemental draft, which is usually held in July. Any team that drafts a player in the supplemental draft gives up their 2012 pick in that corresponding round. The supplemental draft goes in the order of the previous draft. Oakland would have the No. 17 pick in the first round. It doesn’t have that choice in the Thursday’s first round of the draft because it sent it to New England in Sept. 2009 for defensive lineman Richard Seymour.

The Raiders are expected to take a cornerback early, perhaps with their first pick, No. 48. The Raiders may be poised to lose star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency. There’s been conjecture Oakland could trade up into the first round for a cornerback.

Now the Jenkins’ development gives Oakland another option if it doesn’t find a cornerback early this weekend. A team hasn’t used a first-round pick in the supplemental draft since 1992. Oakland has never taken a player in the supplemental draft, which began in 1977. Every other team in the AFC West has taken a player in the supplemental draft.