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Jeff Janis: Time to Kick Ass and Take Names

Jeff Janis’ third training camp is underway. He needs to be a starting receiver for the Green Bay Packers THIS YEAR.

Why? Because he has the potential to be not just a star, but a superstar in the NFL.

Here’s the truth. Janis has the most all-around athleticism of any wide receiver doing the full set of NFL combine tests since the 1990s.

I’ve gone back and examined combine scores — not pro day scores, which are notoriously unreliable — of 589 wide receivers, going back to 1999.

I rated players mostly by using percentiles, rather than raw scores, from playerprofiler.com data. For wide receivers, this source has percentile rankings for: Speed (height-adjusted 40-yard dash); Burst (vertical and long jump scores combined); Agility (3-cone drill and 20-yard short shuttle times combined); and Catch Radius (five components combined). The first four columns below are wide receiver percentile numbers.

To these I’ve added a Strength score (No. of 225-pound bench presses) and an Acceleration score (10-yd split time).

Let’s name names. Of 589 players I examined going back to 1999, the top five are as follows.

Speed Burst Agility Catch Strength Acceleration
Jeff Janis (2014) 96 72 97 99 20 1.47
Julio Jones (2001) 97 93 80 98 17 1.53
Vincent Jackson (2005) 97 88 87 99 23 1.57
Andre Johnson (2003) 97 91 80 96 17
Javon Walker (2003) 97 86 87 97 18 1.53

The stat that will surprise many is not the speed of Janis, but his agility percentile. Other tall players just don’t score in the 90s on the agility tests.

As for his 99 percentile catch radius, Janis’ Hail Mary catch in Arizona was a demonstration of that skill. He can track down anything near him.

The other four top athletes were all first-round draft choices. Johnson and Jones are likely future Hall of Famers. Jackson is a three-time Pro Bowler. Walker (a Packer from 2002-05) had a career cut short by injury and ego.

Janis doesn’t merely have starter potential, his unmatched athleticism gives him superstar potential.

Can Janis fail despite his athleticism?

Anything’s possible, but no other wide receiver with near his athleticism has failed, other than due to serious injury.

I’ve rated 18 others as next in line to, but well below, the above five all-around athletes. Only one — Chaz Schilens — got a fair chance and failed to become a steady NFL starter, but he also had serious injuries two years in a row.

Others on the second-tier list include recognizable names such as Torrey Smith (9), Odell Beckham Jr. (12), Emmanuel Sanders (14), Mike Wallace (21), and Michael Floyd (23). Some others in the top 23 are young NFL players headed toward stardom, such the Indianapolis Colts Donte Moncrief.

The 589 players examined don’t include a few big names, such as Calvin Johnson and Chris Chambers, because they passed on taking some of the tests – presumably knowing they would score poorly on them. Prior to 1999, others who passed up certain tests include prima donnas Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, and Keyshawn Johnson.

If you think I missed anyone, please supply me the name.

I’ve named the names, now it’s time for Janis to kick ass.

Mike McCarthy, why have you not given this fabulously gifted athlete a fair chance as a wide receiver?

Coach, you’ve given Davante Adams 1,501 offensive snaps in two years, but you won’t put Janis in unless he’s the last healthy wide receiver left on the bench. Hell, in 2014, you didn’t even suit him up for all but three games.

Play the man!

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Rob Born

Due to Aaron Rodgers’ reckless ways, I’m officially launching the Campaign for GM Gutekunst to Acquire the Best Available (Veteran) Backup Quarterback – NOW.

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22 Comments

  1. Empacador July 28, 2016

    Wow. That is impressive. However, as much as I may like Janis personally, there is something this staff and perhaps Rodgers have an issue with. Whether Janis can overcome that will be one thing. I know there are some detractors here who said previously Janis can’t catch when he has to look back over his shoulder. I don’t think there is a large enough body of work to judge that yet. And if anyone wants to defend that position, then what the hell is Davante Adams? He, who when facing the ball, can’t catch. Here’s hoping Janis has a huge preseason and they are forced to contend with him, instead of solely on special teams. And if he flames out, at least there won’t be any “woulda, shoulda, coulda” speculation. Maybe Jordy 2.0 instead of Bill Schroeder 2.0.

  2. Howard July 28, 2016

    I hope Janis proves himself this year for the entire year. I like looking at players speed, agility, and strength numbers as much as anyone. It gives you a base line of what they might be capable of performing. You can only coach or train up speed and agility so much. Janis just needs to show he understands, and can perform. In addition the Team needs to give Janis a legitimate opportunity.

    I appreciate the time spent in putting the numbers together, and I do like your articles. I do question how much the charts show when Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald are not in the top two tiers? Maybe the charts do not show football smarts and instincts?

    Hopefully Janis not only shows his athleticism this year but also his football smarts and instincts.

    Thanks you spending the time on the article Rob. I like these type of football articles.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK July 28, 2016

      I do believe that Janis does in fact show some smarts and instincts. Some of his gunner plays do point that out. As well as a few of those kickoff returns. I also believe that one of those passes during the game against Arizona that Janis caught may have been an overthrow to Rodgers the TE, where Janis saw it and went after it, but that is just speculation . . .

  3. Jonjon July 28, 2016

    Howard, if you noticed what the article said, Calvin Johnson did not take all the tests and therefore was not included.

    1. Howard July 28, 2016

      I could be wrong but was that paragraph inserted when I responded.? Please advise author.

  4. Slim July 28, 2016

    According to Mike Clemens who covers the Packers Janis already has Rodgers on his ass because he didn’t break off a route today at practice. Clemens said Rodgers was pissed.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK July 28, 2016

      I believe Rodgers has a personality clash with this kid. Adams did enough last year to turn a saint to blasphemy . . . and no reactions like that at all from Rodgers PERIOD. this guy saved their asses last year in the playoffs and Rodgers hardly even acknowledged it . . .

      1. Packers fan July 28, 2016

        Don’t forget MM about Janis.

        1. MMTTDCSUCK July 28, 2016

          Yep! you are right!

      2. PF4L July 28, 2016

        Nobody saved the Packers asses in the playoffs, they won 1 game against the weakest team in the playoffs, then lost on a piss ugly defensive play in OT. When someone catches a Hail Mary to win the game taking you to the Super Bowl, that’s…saving your ass in the playoffs.

        P. S. Rodgers and the Packers just got eliminated in OT in ugly fashion. Not sure he was in the best mood to talk at that moment to “acknowledge” Janis more to your liking..

      3. Dwight Love December 10, 2017

        Do you remember the SLANT TD dropped by Adams vs Detroit last yr if he caught that ball he was gone no Lion DB was near him.How come Rodgers did not get upset with him after that play.

    2. Dwight Love December 10, 2017

      Does Rodgers get upset with other WRs if they run the incorrect route like he does with Janis.In games I have seen other Packer wideouts drop key passes but Rodgers does not lose patients with them he goes back to them on the next play.

  5. PF4L July 28, 2016

    Rodgers has given credit to Janis on his performance after certain games, i highly doubt Rodgers has some personal vendetta against Janis. I think it’s far more likely there is something more technical holding Janis back. It’s a complex playbook, he’s getting time under his belt. Why wouldn’t Rodgers want a speed weapon on the outside? He’s caught 9 passes in the NFL, lets see how it plays out.

    1. MMTTDCSUCK July 28, 2016

      Fair enough PF4L, my only wonder is why Adams gets such a huge pass on his failings.

      1. PF4L July 28, 2016

        I think he was getting that pass from McCarthy who’s calling the plays, Rodgers didn’t have a lot of receiving options. I don’t see Adams getting a pass from many Packer fans. everything sucked last year, Jordy gone, Cobb doubled, early down run game sucked ass, bad 3rd down situations, bad O=line, bad timing, bad passes. everything on offense sucked. That’s why i can’t wait to get key players back on the field and the season getting going. To get rid of that stench of the 2015 season.

        1. Packers fan July 28, 2016

          Right PF4L we were so injury depleted on offense last year. That’s one of the reasons why our offense sucked. We were too predictable. I think 2015 might be a fluke for the Packers offense. If this offense plays great this year which they should, expect 12-4. Do you think our offense will be better this year? I think it will PF4L.

          MMTTDCSUCK, we will see what happens. If Adams did make the roster and played well this year, then 2015 would be a sophomore slump. Time will tell. I believe Janis will see the field. MM actually praised Janis this offseason. I think the top 3 Packer receivers this year will be this: Nelson, Cobb, and Janis.

          PF4L where has Draymond Green been at? I know this question isn’t packer related but I would like to know man. It seems like he’s banned. I’m glad he’s gone so that he doesn’t troll. Back to what you said about this year I can’t wait till Haha Clinton Dix plays he is not a joke. Period! The dude is a emerging star trust me. Who is your favorite Packer on offense and defense? My favorite offense player is either Cobb or A Rodgers and my favorite defense player is Haha Clinton Dix. Don’t sleep on Mike Daniels either. Are you ready for Peppers to ride off in the sunset after this season if he gets a ring?

          Go Pack Go!

          1. MMTTDCSUCK July 28, 2016

            Same with your post Packers Fan! It could be hose things. I just see big plays written all over Janis. He has the gift I believe. Can he put his athleticism and the playbook together? Time will tell. I am trusting that he does. If not, then someone else will. I am certain of that.

        2. MMTTDCSUCK July 28, 2016

          Amen PF4L! I hear you.

  6. Icebowler August 3, 2016

    Janus might just be the textbook definition of a “gamer” The Packers need to put him in “games” to find out. The definition of a gamer is someone who some times f’s up in practice, but delivers on game day. Gamers are rare, but they do exist. Janus’s play last year in the playoffs hints that he might just be one. We need to find out, one way or the other.

  7. Ted Hawthorne August 4, 2016

    Look, the two catches against the Cardinals spoke for themselves. End of story. TT and
    MM should have apologized to Janis in the locker room. Their silence told us what kind
    of men they are–small, mean, stubborn who play personal favorites. MMTTDCSuck,
    myself, and several others on this website have pointed this out many times over the
    last two years. Their is simply no excuse for their management of the great GREEN BAY
    PACKER franchise, the love of my life. If I owned all the stock, not just one share, they’d
    both be gone by midnight.

  8. Dwight Love December 2, 2016

    Unfortunately he did not do well in pre-season camp and he was injured.

  9. CZ Stevens February 12, 2018

    Was not an overly impressive prospect prior to the NFL draft.

    **** Was of average size.

    **** Was fast, but did not the kind of speed that intimidated opposing defensive backs.

    As a college player, did not compete against major college stars.

    Didn’t do much in his first three years in the NFL, but became a major contributor, by

    **** showing the ability to run crisp patterns

    and

    **** catch nearly everything he could touch.

    Became one of the teams most dependable receivers.

    ****Made plays when the game was on the line

    , and did it with little fanfare.

    Had six consecutive seasons with 1,000 receiving yards or more from 2004-09.

    213th pick Donald Driver, was drafted in the seventh round.

    Success is because of
    **** these.

    Below Receiver’s Strengths Appear to Be Jeff Janis’ Weaknesses:

    Odell Beckham:
    Quick hands and feet to slip the jam.
    Fluid and fast.
    Good balance.
    Sinks his hips and changes gears to create separation.
    Quick hands to pluck off his frame.
    Terrific leaping ability — climbs the ladder to snatch throws.
    Creates after the catch — shows burst and shiftiness as a runner.
    Has playmaking ability.

    Davante Adams
    Tracks and adjusts to the ball very well downfield.
    Extends outside his frame and plucks the ball out of the air.
    Natural hands-catcher.
    Terrific athlete with good leaping ability and anticipation to properly time jumps and highpoint the ball.
    Wins jumpballs in the red zone and shows very good hand-eye coordination to take the ball away from defenders.

    Jeff Janis
    Has very small, inconsistent hands —
    will cradle the ball and use his body.
    Is not a nuanced route runner.
    Does not attack the ball in the air and will give up some break points.
    Not strong after the catch and will look for a soft landing spot.
    Can be fazed by traffic.
    … does not play to his size.

    Being a great receiver is more about coordination than speed.

    Both are gifts. Janis has one. Which is why he is still on the team. But it is unlikely he will ever overcome the other.