College: North Alabama
From: Pahokee, Florida
Weight: 193 pounds
High School Career: Widely regarded as one of the best prep players in America for his time at Pahokee High, earning Parade All America honors as a senior…helped lead Pahokee to state titles as a freshman, junior and senior playing defensive back and running back…Finished his senior season with 80 tackles and six interceptions to go along with more than 1,000 yards of total offense…ESPNU rated Jenkins the fourth best cornerback prospect in the country as he earned invitations to the Under Armor High School All American game…Chose the University of Florida over offers from nearly every elite program in the nation.
College Career: Started at Florida from day one, becoming only the second true freshman in school history to start at corner in his first game. Started 12 games with 39 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and three interceptions on his way to Freshman All America honors…In his next two seasons for the Gators, he emerged as a lockdown corner, posting five interceptions an proclaiming the left side of the field a veritable no fly zone. In 40 games at Florida, posted 121 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, 25 pass breakups and eight interceptions…Was kicked off the team at Florida for a variety of indiscretions and transferred to North Alabama for final season…Dominated for the Lions, grabbing two interceptions and coming up with 53 tackles and four pass breakups in a year in which he was barely tested. Also tacked on three punt returns for touchdowns.
Need to Know: In his time at Florida, Jenkins routinely drew the assignment of covering the opponent’s top wideout. That included matchups against future top 10 picks A.J. Green and Julio Jones, of Georgia and Alabama, respectively. It also included matchups with South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery, who went in the second round this year to Chicago. In those matchups, Jenkins had as much success as any corner charged with the task of slowing that group. He held Green to one catch for 4 yards when he covered him on seven targets in 2010. Jones mustered even less production, catching none of the four passes thrown his way with Jenkins covering him.
He Said It:
“I just be honest. I don’t have anything to hide. That was my past. That was a year ago and I took my second rap to go to UNA for a reason, just to show people that I wasn’t a bad kid, that I wasn’t running from my problems.” – Jenkins on maturing in the past year and looking to the future.
They Said It:
“We’re not concerned about him. He’s a first-round talent; he’s a good football player. He’s got one of the best in the room in (CB)
“Yes, he has first round talent. I think you can go back to his last season at Florida, watching him cover A.J. Green and Julio Jones, who were both rookies last year and I think I saw tonight where they were top 100 players in the league now. He did a nice job against those two players so definitely first-round talent for sure. That was the reason and one of the reasons when he’s sitting there at the 39th pick, one of the reasons we did the research for the last two, three, longer than that, extensive last two or three weeks to figure out, hey, if he was sitting there, we’re going to take him.” – GM Les Snead on selecting Jenkins after a lot of research.
Outlook: Based on talent alone, there’s a great chance that Jenkins will step in and start from day one opposite Finnegan. How he adjusts to the NFL will ultimately determine Jenkins’ role in year one but there’s little doubt he’ll be on the field a lot either as a starter or working in the nickel. Most likely, he’ll be Finnegan’s tag team partner both on and off the field and ultimately could project to become a No. 1, shutdown corner in the league.