Scouting Report: Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State
Sleeper from Saginaw
Jeff Janis is a player we’ve had our eye on for some time. His report has been delayed because we were hoping for better footage to become available. It hasn’t, so in the words of Alec Baldwin in Glenn Garry Glenn Ross, I’m going anyway. We’ll go with what we have. The available film shows most of what there is to see from 2013, but, as you will see, it’s choppy and often poorly lit footage. It shows pretty much what we’ve seen from Janis over the years--a player with a ton of athletic ability who has a lot to improve on as a receiver. He’s basically a small school version of Donte Moncrief, which is not all bad news. Like Moncrief, Janis has a potentially high ceiling if he can put the rest of his game together. For that to happen, he needs to stick on a NFL roster. In the end, making a team could come down to Janis’ special teams ability, especially if he’s drafted late, and he’s not very experienced in that area.
Janis was a very productive player at Saginaw Valley State, and that production earned him a Combine invite. Let’s take a look at Jeff’s Combine numbers.
- Height - 6’3”
- Weight - 219
- Arm Length - 32.5”
- Hands - 9”
- 40 - 4.42
- Bench - 20 (T-4th)
- Vertical Jump - 37.5”
- Broad Jump - 123”
- 3-Cone Drill - 6.64 (3rd)
- 20 YD Shuttle - 3.98
Boom! Talk about taking advantage of a situation. Janis’ numbers had to open some NFL eyes. His speed and agility numbers are off the charts for his size. He was also impressive on the bench though that was less surprising.
Things we like about Janis.
- Size - He is obviously prototypically sized both in terms of height and weight.
- Size/speed combo - As Pete Carroll said at the Combine, “big fast guys are the fewest around.” We have one here. As I said earlier, Janis showed speed and agility numbers that are exceptional for a receiver his size. There will be a few teams who will want to try and coach him up based on these numbers alone.
- Big play ability - While I am unimpressed with Janis' hands, he does catch the deep ball pretty well and his ability to get behind defenders makes him a good deep threat.
- Toughness - Janis will take a hit and he’ll dish them out too as a blocker. He has some technique to learn, but he has the potential to be a plus blocker due to his size and strength plus said toughness.
- Production - Janis' production is simply off the charts, but it is important to take the competition into account. Saginaw Valley is a good program, but the GLIAC is not the Big Ten.
Here’s the best embeddable film of Janis. It takes some patience to be sure, but there’s a lot to see here.
Here’s a highlight reel from 2012.
If you made it all the way through both of those clips, you get bonus points. As I mentioned earlier, there are a few areas of concern with Janis. The two things we want to mention are his hands and his routes.
Janis must learn to catch the ball with his hands and he must learn to catch the ball farther away from his frame when he does. He needs to be more proactive as a catcher. NFL cornerbacks will poke a lot more balls away than the corners in the GLIAC did. This is a crucial area for Janis and he simply must make progress here if he wants to be a significant player at the next level.
As for the routes, we see some good and some bad. He’s aggressive and he attacks defenders well, but he’ll round off his routes too often, which will cost him more at the next level than it did at Saginaw Valley.
In the end, Janis’ talents are very real. We like the way he plays the game and the enthusiasm he brings to the field. If he can survive in the NFL for a season or two, he could end up being a good player down the line. Early success is something harder to envision, though he could earn time early on as a deep threat.
Janis is highly unlikely to have any 2014 redraft value, but he’s a player to go after in dynasty drafts. What round to target him will depend on where he lands.
I’ll update Janis’ value in our post-draft rookie rankings.
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Other 2014 Scouting Reports:
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A & M
- Dustin Vaughan, QB, West Texas A & M
- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
- Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU
- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
- Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
- Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
- L'Damian Washington, WR, Missouri
- Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
- Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
- Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
- Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
- Dri Archer, RB, Kent State
- Terrance West, RB, Towson
- Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern
- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
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