The easy thing here would be to a drop a Janis Joplin pun, but I’ll just allude to it and leave it there. Why? Because I’ve been through all of my Janis puns, and I’m pretty sure whatever you come up with will be better than what I have. So there we are… Jeff Janis may be unfamiliar to most in a America, except for those of you who reside in Wisconsin. All nine of you. Granted, his prospects as a productive receiver looked a bit better with Randall Cobb’s status up in the air, but as it stands now, the Packers depth chart at receiver stays essentially the same with Jordy Nelson, the aforementioned Cobb, and both Davante Adams and Jarrett Boykin coming in ahead of Janis. Lucky for him, overtaking Boykin on the depth chart is something my great grandmother could do, and she’s been dead for roughly three decades.
Note: Jarrett Boykin signed with the Carolina Panthers on 3/27/15. To be fair, I don’t always follow transactions that involve Jarrett Boykin, but the post still holds true in terms of where I believe Jeff Janis will be this upcoming season, and that’s a potential sleeper at the receiver position. He will be competing for the fourth spot on the depth chart with Jared Abbrederis, who is a second-year starter and is known more for his special teams play than anything else. He’s also coming off of ACL surgery.
To be fair, Boykin has actually been on the radar as a possible sleeper for the past few years (along with Adams) based solely on the fact that they have a quarterback named Aaron Rodgers and they have hands. And while Davante Adams, a former second round pick, will provide good value and has a good ceiling in his own right, Boykin is eminently average at this point, and there’s little standing in the way for Janis to occupy his spot.
Drafted in the seventh round, Janis was known for his size, leaping ability (37 1/2-inch vertical jump. For reference, my vertical jump is roughly three inches), and had excellent acceleration for his size. Yes, his route running needs some work, but there aren’t any physical limitations here that I’m worried about. Take a look at his combine results (since his stat sheet is pretty bare with just 2 receptions).
|Player||40-Yard Dash||Bench Press||Vertical Jump||Broad Jump||3-Cone Drill||20-Yard Shuttle|
|Jeff Janis||4.42 sec||20 reps||37.5″||123.0″||6.64 sec||3.98 sec|
|Jarrett Boykin||4.74 sec||11 reps||36.0″||123.0″||7.12 sec||4.28 sec|
Boykin was added there to provide context and a good marker for comparison. At the physical level, Janis is the better prospect, and while Boykin certainly has a larger pool of experience, the potential is all leaning towards Janis.
Heading into the season, it’ll be hard to gauge what, if any, value Jeff Janis will hold. He’s still fourth on a depth chart of four receivers, he’s largely untested, and for the time being, it’ll be your normal Packers; the Jordy and Cobb show. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should forget about everyone else. Davante Adams is certainly a good player to keep an eye on in the draft, but as the season progresses, don’t forget about Jeff Janis. He’s certainly a potential sleeper I’ll be keeping tabs on.