Georgia’s John Jenkins is one of the 2013 NFL draft’s top nose tackle prospects.
The first thing that stands out about Jenkins is his elite size, measuring in at 6’4”, 345 pounds. While that is a big part of a nose tackle’s ability to compete at the next level, there is much more to Jenkins’ game.
With that size comes not only the strength that he has become well known for, but some impressive quickness, athleticism and awareness as well.
Consistency will be the biggest key for him in the NFL, but if the following highlights are any indication, Jenkins has all of the necessary tools to be successful.
Judging by his big frame alone, many would assume that the only part to Jenkins’ game is his strength. Not true.
In this play, the Auburn offensive line attempts to take Jenkins out of the play’s backside with a cut block. Not only does he avoid the block to stay on his feet, but he crashes down the line to make the play on the running back for a loss.
Jenkins may need to get more consistent in this area, but this play shows that the ability is undoubtedly there.
If there is one thing that we know Jenkins can do, it’s stop the run.
On this play, he is able to quite easily disengage the single block of the 2013 draft’s top guard, Chance Warmack, and get involved in bringing down the back.
What is most impressive here is Jenkins quickly reacting to the cut made by the running back. This kind of ability shows why he so often warrants double-team blocks in the running game.
Jenkins may not have a repertoire of pass-rush moves, but he likely will only be used as a two-down nose tackle in the NFL anyway.
Any production rushing the passer on those early downs would be considered a bonus, but if he can consistently play with a lower pad level, the possibility of which is there.
On this play, despite taking on a tandem block from the South Carolina offensive line, Jenkins uses his strength to drive both players into the backfield and force the quarterback to escape the pocket.
Again, Jenkins won’t be relied upon to rush the passer at the next level, but this kind of play shows that he has the strength to win battles against even multiple blockers inside.
Despite Jenkins’ previously mentioned ability to avoid cut-blocks, that doesn’t mean he will be successful in doing so on every play. When a defensive lineman is cut, it is imperative that he gets off the ground and back on his feet.
Here, Jenkins does just that and gets back in the play quickly enough to make the tackle on the ball-carrier at the line of scrimmage.
Plays like this show Jenkins’ effort in situations that many players would otherwise give up on. You can bet that this, as much as any of his other stops in the run game, stands out on the scouting tape of NFL teams.
This quality somewhat falls under the category of effort, but Jenkins’ movement ability displayed on outside runs cannot go unmentioned.
On this particular play, a sweep off the right tackle, Jenkins is the first player to make contact with the ball-carrier just yards away from the sideline. While he doesn’t bring him down, the quickness and effort that he shows in even getting to the spot is impressive.
So often for nose tackle prospects, a primary concern is whether or not the necessary athleticism will accompany their elite size and strength. If this play is any indication, Jenkins’ athleticism should not be a concern for NFL teams heading into the draft.