Summary: Jenkins was a projected top-15 pick for the 2012 NFL Draft when he decided to return for his senior season of college last spring. In the months to come, Jenkins was arrested multiple times for drug possession. He was dismissed from Florida and landed at North Alabama to play his senior year.
As a true freshman, Jenkins started on a national championship team across from current Browns' Pro Bowler Joe Haden. Teams avoided Haden and targeted Jenkins, but did not have success. Over his three years with the Gators, he was as good a cover corner as Haden. In his final season at Florida (2010), Jenkins recorded three interceptions to go along with 44 tackles and eight passes defensed.
Jenkins was tremendous against the best of the SEC. He had strong games against South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and held Georgia's A.J. Green in check. The Bengals took Green with the fourth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and he is one of the best young receivers in the NFL. Jenkins held him to four catches for just 42 yards in their last meeting. In three games against each other, he never let Green produce a 100-yard game. In his last two battles against former Alabama star wide out Julio Jones, Jenkins limited him to four catches for 19 yards and two catches for 28 yards. Jones and Green are two of the best young receivers in the NFL. In Jenkins' last seven games against Jones, Green and Jeffery, the receivers never recorded a 100-yard game.
Playing for North Alabama in 2011, Jenkins returned 18 punts for 390 yards (21.7 average) with three touchdown returns and a long return of 92 yards. He had two interceptions and a fumble returned 49 yards for a score as well. Furthermore, Jenkins had 53 tackles with four tackles for a loss and six passes broken up.
Jenkins was dominant at the Senior Bowl. Any doubts about him having a high first-round skill set were erased. He then had an excellent showing at the Combine. Jenkins ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds with a 10-yard split of 1.47 seconds. His agility and coverage skills could be seen through his impressive performance in the field drills.
Off the field, there have been mixed returns on Jenkins' team interviews. One anonymous scout said Jenkins continued to smoke weed at North Alabama, and he will always have an issue with it. Another story that caused some negative attention was that Jenkins and his agent, Ben Dogra, parted company. Sources revealed that Jenkins was about to leave him because he felt like he was just another client lost in the shuffle at a big agency. Dogra got wind and decided to end the partnership first in order to try and save face. It sounds like a case of "I'm breaking up with you before you can break up with me."
There is no doubt that Jenkins is an excellent cover corner who would be a great scheme fit in any NFL defense. He has elite speed that allows him to blanket receivers and keep them from getting open. On top of that, Jenkins has ball skills, hip flexibility, strength, great feet and athleticism. He can also flip his hips and run with speed receivers. Even at under six-foot, Jenkins had success going against the best big receivers he saw in the SEC. Jenkins could be a rare shutdown man corner in the NFL who can limit or take out No. 1 receivers on a weekly basis.
Player Comparison: Darrelle Revis. I don't think that Jenkins will be as good a pro player as Revis. It is hard to argue that Revis isn't the top cornerback in the NFL, and if he continues on his current track, he could be a Hall of Fame candidate. It isn't fair to expect that type of career from Jenkins, but of all the players in the NFL, Jenkins' style of play reminds me of Revis. He is a lockdown man corner who has rare man-corner skills that are like Revis'.
NFL Matches: Dallas, Cincinnati, Chicago, Tennessee, Detroit, New England, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Jacksonville
The Cowboys may not draft a corner in the first round after signing Brandon Carr, but if they decide to take a man corner, they could consider Jenkins. Cincinnati badly needs a cornerback and could consider Jenkins with on of its first-rounders. The Bears at No. 19 and the Titans at No. 20 both are looking for cornerback help.
The Lions badly need assistance at the position. They take the best player available, and if Jenkins gets to their pick, he most likely would be the top talent on the board. Jenkins would be a great addition to Detroit's defense. However, the recent arrests of a few Lions players could cause the team to decided to pass on another player with off-the-field issues.
If all those teams pass on Jenkins, the Patriots could end his fall with one of their first-rounders. They need corner help and have had an affinity for Gators.
If Jenkins falls to the second round because of his character concerns, there are a number of other teams that could consider him. The Colts, Rams, Buccaneers, Browns and Jaguars all need cornerback help and one of them could decide to give him a chance. St. Louis and Indianapolis are hosting Jenkins on pre-draft visits.