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Timmy Jernigan Out To Prove Critics Wrong


If there's been one pick that has already fallen under some scrutiny, it's second-round defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.

The disruptive Florida State product was widely regarded as a top-20 talent, but his stock tumbled leading up to the draft because of a diluted drug specimen from the combine. He was originally scheduled to be at Radio City Music Hall, but opted not to attend the event.

To be clear, Jernigan did not fail a drug test. He explained that the diluted sample, which can sometimes be a sign of a player masking a drug, was the result of him being too hydrated. He was overly hydrated because he quickly lost 15 pounds leading up to the combine.

Jernigan fell to the Ravens in the second round and was the fourth defensive tackle selected. ESPN's Todd McShay immediately criticized the pick on-air.

"I'm definitely going to prove people wrong," Jernigan said on Friday. "Ever since I got drafted I put that behind me. I'm moving forward with my life and I'm just worried about being the best Raven and best teammate I can be. I'm not worried about that stuff; I'm here to play football and be a great teammate, and that's it."

Jernigan was asked whether he's ready for the extra scrutiny.

"I don't care. I'm not worried about it," he said. "The only thing I'm worried about is playing football and winning football games. After a while, I feel like the more I play, I'll be able to prove my point. I'm not going to get in any trouble, I'm walking the straight line."

The Ravens coveted Jernigan, and had a first-round grade on him. After the first round of the draft is over, Baltimore goes back and re-stacks its draft board. Jernigan was No. 2 on that list, and they were able to get him midway through the round.

After ESPN's criticism of the pick, Head Coach John Harbaugh went on the NFL Network and fired back. It's clear the Ravens are standing behind the pick, and that's music to Jernigan's ears.

"I believe in God, man. I prayed about the situation day in and day out," he said. "The one thing I told myself is I want to play for a team that wants me to be on the team, understands my situation, and is going to help me get past it.

"I feel like I was put here for a reason, and I'm definitely here to prove a point."

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