Summary: For 3-4 defenses needing a nose tackle, Jenkins is a perfect fit to man the middle of their defense. Georgia employed a 3-4 defense, and he was a key cog for the Bulldogs. Jenkins was a heavy load at the point of attack who stuffed the run and contributed to the pass rush. Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones was a phenomenal pass-rusher, and he was aided by the disruption that Jenkins caused on the inside.
Jenkins started out his career in the junior college ranks before earning a starting spot with Georgia as a junior in 2011. He totaled 28 stops, six tackles for a loss and three sacks in his debut season. Jenkins improved as a senior to record 50 tackles, two tackles for a loss and a sack. He stood out with good games against Missouri, South Carolina, Florida and Auburn. Jenkins played well in the SEC Championship and beat Alabama guard Chance Warmack for a sack.
Jenkins had a phenomenal week of practice at the Senior Bowl. He wasn't known as a pass-rusher for Georgia, but he showed nice pass-rushing potential in Mobile as he dominated the one-on-one sessions. The guards and centers were virtually incapable of keeping him out of the backfield. The massive tackle was destroying linemen with his bull rushes.
Jenkins also displayed surprising explosion. He has a good get-off and fires into blockers to often gain leverage. There were plays when Jenkins drove linemen straight back before shoving them to the ground. He was excellent all week.
There was some debate about Jenkins being a first-round pick entering the Senior Bowl, but he showed that he is worthy of a first-round pick in Mobile. It wouldn't be surprising if Jenkins stands out at the NFL Scouting Combine in the 40 and the bench press. If that happens, he could enjoy a rise into the top half of the first round like Dontari Poe did in the 2012 NFL Draft.
There is a premium on defensive tackles with Jenkins' size and speed. They are hard to find and can rise up draft boards as teams get deeper into the process.
Jenkins looks like a reasonably safe pick for the NFL. His size and speed mean he is at least going to be a good run-defender. Jenkins' also should be able to eat up blockers to free up teammates - at the bare minimum. Jenkins probably won't ever compile big statistical totals, but he could be a difference-maker at the point of attack for a good defense.
Player Comparison: Shaun Rogers. Rogers is a massive tackle who is similar to Jenkins. Both offer more speed and explosiveness than is typical for such large nose tackles. Rogers (6-4, 350) has similar size and skill set to what Jenkins has demonstrated. Rogers was a second-round pick for the Lions in 2001 and has played for four teams over 11 seasons. He has flashed dominance at times while never seeming to consistently play up to his potential. Jenkins should have a career at least as good as Rogers.
NFL Matches: New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Indianapolis, New England
Any 3-4 team that needs a nose tackle is going to love Jenkins. He is a perfect zero-technique and has experience from playing it in college.
The highest that Jenkins could hope to go would be the Saints. They're switching to a 3-4 defense, and if they feel Akiem Hicks is an end rather than a nose tackle, could consider Jenkins with their first-round pick.
The Steelers are expected to move on from Casey Hampton this offseason and Jenkins would be a great replacement. Pittsburgh has some in-house candidates, so Jenkins is probably less likely to land in Pittsburgh.
The Vikings need defensive tackle help, and Jenkins could give them a Pat Williams-type run-stuffer on the inside. Minnesota may want a different type of tackle, but Jenkins should be in play for the Vikings.
Indianapolis could use a disruptive presence on its defensive line. The Colts switched to a 3-4 a year ago and adding a defender like Jenkins would make a lot of sense.
New England could use some youth at defensive tackle and Jenkins is a fit for a variety of reasons. One, he could be a long-term replacement for Vince Wilfork. Two, he has the flexibility to play 3-4 nose tackle and 4-3 defensive tackle. The Patriots employ both schemes, so Jenkins would fill that requirement. Lastly, New England has invested a lot of resources in its linebackers. Jenkins can occupy blockers to free up the linebackers to make plays.
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