Brandon Jenkins Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Florida State DE

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Brandon Jenkins Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Florida State DE
USA TODAY Sports

 

Brandon Jenkins

Washington Redskins

Fifth Round: 162nd Pick

Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine are the big-name pass-rushers coming out of Florida State this year and entering the 2013 NFL draft. 

They may have Brandon Jenkins to thank for that. 

Since 2009, Jenkins has been one of the best pass-rushers the Seminoles have seen in recent years. That changed last season when he missed every contest with a serious Lisfranc injury. 

Now fully healthy, does Jenkins have what it takes to make an impact at the next level after electing to forgo a medical redshirt and enter the draft? Read on to find out. 

 

STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
+ Lanky build; he could fill out.  - Strictly a pass-rusher 
+ Elite speed for position, giving him quick first step.  - Limited experience in zone/poor recognition skills. 
+ Great flexibility to rip off blocks and turn corner. - Lack of bulk to stop the run. 
  - Inconsistent hustle and recent injury issues.

 

Tools

Once again healthy, Jenkins has returned to looking like a rare athlete who dominated the ACC for the better part of 2010 and 2011. At the Florida State pro day, he ran a 40-yard dash clocked at 5.07 seconds. 

Weighing in at 6'3" and 247 pounds with 33.25" arm length, Jenkins has all of the tools to make for a talented edge-rusher.

He recorded 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, but his lanky build could be better filled out with muscle—which could hamper his speed. 

 

Intangibles/Character 

Jenkins has no blotches on his record and seems intent on improving each time he has the chance to talk football with the media. 

There's something to be desired in his hustle at times on the field, but off of it, Jenkins doesn't have any strikes to his name outside of the serious injury he appears to have recovered from at this point. 

 

System

At Florida State, Jenkins was used exclusively as a pass-rusher from the defensive end position. Very rarely was he asked to drop into coverage, and rarely was he asked or actually had an impact on the running game. 

 

Pass Rush

Jenkins was an elite pass-rusher in the ACC in 2010 and 2011 when he posted 13.5 and eight sacks, respectively. 

Thanks to his length and flexibility, Jenkins is able to rip away from blockers after applying his wicked first step and get into the backfield in a hurry. On film, he's routinely in the backfield so far that backs staying in to block whiff completely. 

Jenkins lacks the bulk to play 4-3 defensive end in the NFL, but his power was fine at the collegiate game, as he was able to send most offensive linemen back on their heels before applying a spin or swim move.

Most of these skills translate well to the NFL, but he simply is not heavy enough to play at defensive end. He will either flourish or flounder as an outside linebacker pass-rushing specialist.

 

Against the Run

Jenkins only has moderate upper-body strength and gets too stiff and upright when tasked with stopping the run. He loses his leverage and is easily tossed aside or dragged down the field by stronger offensive linemen. 

Instinctively, Jenkins suffers against any type of run and can take questionable routes to the ball-carrier at times. He has the straight-line speed to chase down most backs, but is typically jarred off course. 

At the NFL level, Jenkins is going to have some serious issues against the run unless he bulks up and improves in the recognition department. In college, opposing teams would run directly at him to take advantage of his deficiencies. 

 

Tackling 

At the collegiate level, Jenkins did not have many issues bringing down smaller quarterback or backs, but in the NFL he will struggle. 

The technique simply is not there for Jenkins. The majority of his tackles are of the drag-down variety, and that will not work at the next level, as most backs will be stronger than him. 

In a one-on-one scenario, Jenkins is easily avoided by shifty ball-carriers. He fails to wrap up properly and does not have adequate change-of-direction skills to keep up with faster players. Add in iffy effort at times, and this is not Jenkins' strong suit. 

 

Use of Hands 

Jenkins does a decent enough job using his hands to keep opposing tackles at bay, but it's an area he could still use some work on as he preps for NFL-caliber tackles. 

He relies more on his quick first step to blow past an adversary, but if that does not work, he can be easily taken out of the play entirely. Better use of his hands could prevent this issue. 

 

Future Role/Scheme Versatility

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This is where it all falls apart for Jenkins. As mentioned, he cannot play 4-3 defensive end at the next level like he did in college. He's simply not heavy enough, and adding mass could seriously hurt his speed. 

If anything, Jenkins is a pass-rushing specialist in a 3-4 defense. He has elite speed off the edge, which could allow him to be a sporadic contributor as long as he is not the only above-average pass-rushing threat on the field. 

Jenkins does not have the all-around skill to be an every-down linebacker in any defense. He lacks the awareness, recognition and coverage skills at this time to earn a significant role. 

In the future, Jenkins may be able to bulk up and put his hand in the dirt, but for now he has a pretty limited role at the professional level. 

 

Draft Projection: Round 6-7

 

Pro-day stats courtesy of CBSSports.com.

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