Saginaw Valley State WR Jeff Janis
While we continue to expect the Detroit Lions will draft a wide receiver at some point, we will take a look at a mid to late round prospect in Saginaw Valley State receiver Jeff Janis. Janis, being a local prospect is naturally on the radar of Lions fans. He has also caught the attention of the staff and recently met with them at the Detroit Lions local workout. Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson also attended that workout. So what makes a division two receiver a potential pick for the Lions, especially after the David Kircus mess several years back?
Jeff Janis stands six foot three and weights two hundred nineteen pounds which is great size for a receiver. He tested very well at the combine even though he was not in the top five for most of the drills he did. His forty yard dash was clocked officially at 4.42 which is terrific for a receiver. While it is not the fastest time run by a receiver, it is plenty fast enough for him to get separation against NFL defenders. His vertical, while not in the top five, was still very good, measuring in at thirty seven and a half inches.
The good attributes outside of his measurables are that he is very quick to accelerate, and he is good at creating separation. He has a great work ethic and a passion for football. While Jeff Janis did play against small school competition, he made the most of it generating fantastic production. The down side to him though is that he is not a natural ball catcher. He tends to use his body rather than his hands to snag balls out of the air. He is not a very good route runner and is poor in run blocking. He currently projects as a third or fourth round pick but i see him more as a fifth or sixth round pick, unless the Detroit Lions snag him with one of their two compensatory picks in the fourth round.
Statistically speaking, Jeff Janis had a great career. He did not see much time as a freshman, but he did catch a few passes. His sophomore season was better, hauling in forty eight passes for nine hundred sixty eight yards and fourteen touchdowns. He did even better as a junior, recording one hundred six catches for sixteen hundred thirty five yards and seventeen touchdowns. While his senior season was not as good as his junior season, Jeff Janis did post fantastic numbers. He had eighty three catches for fifteen hundred seventy two yards and fourteen touchdowns.
The bottom line with Janis is that he will be selected in the mid to late rounds by a team who loves his potential and can let him develop into the receiver he could potentially be. While i do not see him becoming the next Calvin Johnson or A.J. Green, I do think he can become a solid contributor as a number two receiver if he can polish up his route running and work on catching the ball naturally versus catching the ball with his body. I do not see the Lions taking him due to their need for a productive receiver, but I do think it is possible that they will love his potential and look at him real closely if he is still on the board in the fourth round.