2012 NFL Draft Rumors: Detroit Lions Could Steal Mike Jenkins from Cowboys

James Van Etten@jbvanettenContributor IApril 27, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17:  Mike Jenkins #21 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field on October 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Listen up, Lions fans, part of the answer at cornerback may not have to be found in the draft.

With Dallas moving up last night and selecting Morris Claiborne from LSU and the signing of Brandon Carr during the free-agency period, cornerback Mike Jenkins may be on the trade block. According to Pro Football Talk, rumors are beginning to spread that the Cowboys are looking to deal Jenkins.

Could he be had for a fourth-round pick? Perhaps a fifth? Lord knows Mayhew has given Jerry Jones the ol’ “Jedi Mind Trick” in the past. Yes, I’m referring to the fleecing Jerry took when the Lions dumped Roy Williams on him.

The Cowboys owner, with multiple plastic surgeons on speed dial, may just be ripe for another lopsided deal.

Jenkins was a first-round pick in 2008 and stepped into the starter's role in 2009.  More importantly for Detroit, his contract is extremely manageable, as he is entering the final year of his rookie deal at just over a Dr. Evil price of $1 million.

If it works out, great; the Lions can bring him back. If not, let him go like they did with Eric Wright. The downside of the gamble is minimal.

He does not come without warts, though. A shoulder injury is still bothersome for Jenkins and could keep him out of offseason workouts. And he attacks the run game similar to Deion Sanders, posting only 22 tackles last year.

But the guy can cover and has the speed to stay with most receivers in the league. Plus, he has more interceptions than any defensive back on the roster, outside of Chris Houston.

If the injury is not serious, he’s somebody that could come in and start immediately, as it has been well documented Gunther Cunningham is not a big fan of throwing rookie corners into the starting lineup.

Matt Miller has currently penciled-in starter Aaron Berry as the No. 88 corner in the league; he also has Jenkins as No. 58.

A plus-30 position upgrade for a late-round flier might just be the way to go, and the Lions could still draft another young corner tonight without the pressure of starting him too soon.

The draft always brings surprises, and they continue today as we all await the start of Round 2.