Janzen Jackson makes a tackle against Alabama in 2009 while still a member of the Tennessee Volunteers. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
New York Giants 2012 rookie mini-camp starts on Friday. Which of the undrafted free agents who will be working out on Friday and Saturday has the best chance of actually making the roster or having an NFL career?
Well, judging by the 'All-Undrafted Players Team' put together by the National Football Post you would think the player who is at the top of the list heading into Friday would be Janzen Jackson, the under-sized safety from McNeese State.
Here is what NFP said about Jackson:
"The Giants rolled the dice on this gifted problem child. Jackson can play center field or cover in zone effectively, and he has ball skills. If there were no concerns about his behavior, he easily would have been picked before the third day."
Wes Bunting of the NFP had ranked Jackson, 6-foot, 190 pounds, as the sixth best free safety in the 2012 NFL Draft class. Here is part of Bunting's pre-draft scouting report:
"A talented kid who can run, track the football and can be a violent striker on contact. However, isn't the most sound of wrap-up guys, is raw with his footwork and has character concerns. Nevertheless, has the talent to play in the NFL and should get a shot because of his ability to run and strike."
Jackson was available as an undrafted free agent because he comes with the dreaded "character concerns" label. He was involved in a variety of incidents at the University of Tennessee during his three seasons there, and was dropped from the team prior to the 2011 season.
There is really little risk here for the Giants. As a UDFA the Giants don't have a heavy investment in Jackson. If they don't like what they see -- on the field or off -- cutting ties is no big deal. If, however, he can stay on the right path and be the kind of player some think he can be the Giants might have something here.
We begin to find out on Friday morning.