I made the comment before this year’s draft that this may be the year that Green Bay gets another late round steal. And while I am with everyone who is excited about the Adams and Abbrederis picks (very excited), I am keeping my eye on Jeff Janis as a possible seventh rounder who could become Donald Driver-like in production. While Driver came out of Alcorn State but had freakish athleticism, Janis has a big body but with 4.4 speed, he can develop into a very good player on a team that already has the pieces in place but has shown the ability to use weapons in mass when they were available.
Notice, however, that I said he could develop into a great player. I don’t expect Janis to flash greatness immediately. He needs to nuance his route running and learn Packer toughness catching in the face of hard hitting safeties. There is a transition coming from a Division II school to the pros and whether my prediction comes true will depend a lot on Janis’ ability to learn and transition. But this is part of what I like about the guy, he’s an underdog. I think the setup is right for Janis to become a force in the NFL:
- He’s friends with Abbrederis – team chemistry is already there.
- He comes into the NFL at a time where the rules are weighted toward receivers scoring touchdowns. That means his speed and size can be VERY useful as he learns the pro game.
- He comes to the Packers…a team with all the pieces in place on offense…especially a quarterback that throws the prettiest ball in the game. This means he will have stiff competition but I think his athleticism is rare and that will show.
- The Packers are a team that commits itself to its draft picks and developmental players and while I think Janis can contribute right away, I believe he will develop into something special.
Of course, as with all draft picks, only time will tell if Jeff Janis becomes another great Packer player and I am always hesitant to relate a draft pick to one of our all time greatest Packer People (Donald Driver) but at the same time, it is healthy to believe in a kid who worked hard and saw his dream come true when he was drafted by the Packers in the seventh round. I am pullin’ for this kid…