2016 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Georgia OLB Jordan Jenkins

Jordan Jenkins

As you should know by now, our attention has now shifted to the 2016 NFL Draft as it relates to the prospects. From now until the draft takes place, we hope to profile as many draft prospects as we possibly can for you. Most of these player profiles will be centered around prospects the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have interest in.

Being as the Steelers might have an interest in drafting another outside linebacker this year, today we will have a look at Georgia’s Jordan Jenkins.

#59 – Jordan Jenkins/OLB Georgia: 6’2 257

The Good:

– Has build of a 3-4 OLB in addition to long arms
– SEC battle-tested
– Uses long arms well against run and as pass rusher
– High-motor player
– Very rarely off feet
– Reliable tackler
– Played standing up on edge in addition to down out of three and four-point stances
– Active hands
– Above average explosion of line
– Strong character

The Bad:

– Tends to lose balance at times due to aggressiveness
– Not asked to drop much into coverage
– Not an elite athlete and needs to show he can bend off edge
– Not comfortable playing off the line as stacked linebacker
– Limited counter moves as pass rusher

Other:

– 11″ hands, 34″ arms, 82 1/2″ wingspan
– 40 games played in with 32 starts while at Georgia
– Only played 63% of defensive snaps in 2015 as he missed time with a groin injury
– 20 QB pressures, 4 sacks, 59 total tackles in 2015 with 9 stuffs
– 2015 Phil Steele’s Preseason All-America Fourth Team and All-SEC First Team
– 2015 Athlon Sports Preseason All-SEC First Team

Tape Breakdown:

Jenkins certainly has a nose for the football and he fights hard on every play. On this split-zone run against Alabama, Jenkins explodes into the left guard at the snap from an inside down position and then spins back inside to not only make a tackle but force a fumble.

On this play, Jenkins fights off the Alabama left tackle to make a tackle on an inside run.

On this split-zone play against Alabama, Jenkins fires off the ball and pushes the tight end on his side back into the backfield. His penetration blows up the entire play and while he didn’t make the tackle he did his job by forcing the ball-carrier back inside.

Jenkins has deceiving quickness and this right tackle never stood a chance against it. He easily shoots the gap for a run stop.

While I don’t consider Jenkins to be an elite athlete, he certainly can move laterally without problems. On this stunt from the right side of the defense, he loops into the center and then uses his long arms to control the offensive lineman on his way to registering a sack. He can disengage very quickly.

Once again, Jenkins exhibits quickness off the line along with his high motor. After being dragged down, he quickly gets up to complete the sack.

Perhaps my favorite highlight is this play against Vanderbilt. Watch as Jenkins explodes off the left edge of the defensive line and then drive the right tackle back into pocket using his long arms and strong hands.

Summary: Jenkins was certainly a fun player to break down and there really isn’t a lot I didn’t like about him. What stood out the most to me was his ability to use his long arms and strong hands in order to keep offensive linemen off him. He really sets the edge well against the run and appears to have a nose for finding the ball-carrier while doing combat.

While he never registered more than 5 sacks in a single season at Georgia, Jenkins did provide a decent amount of pressure as pass rusher. Had he not been slowed by a groin injury last season, I’m sure his sack total would’ve been higher and he perhaps would have even hit double-digits. Jenkins really likes using the bull-rush as his main pass rush move and that’s not surprising being as he has such long arms. I really wanted to see him try to turn corner more outside and show some bend and ankle flexibility in the games that I watched of him and that’s one thing to look for during the upcoming scouting combine.

Being as Jenkins wasn’t asked to drop much at Georgia, it will be interesting to watch him take part in the pass dropping drills in Indianapolis as well. In short, I’m expecting him to test well and he could wind up being a borderline FORCE player when it comes to his times and jumping measurements.

While some 4-3 teams might look at Jenkins as a 4-3 defensive end, his lack of length combined with his thickness has him best suited to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense on either side of the line. He certainly made the right decision when he returned to Georgia for his senior year.

As to where Jenkins will ultimately be drafted, I have a third-round grade on him with the slight possibility of him sneaking into the bottom of the second round. I suspect the Steelers will have interest in him and thus won’t be surprised if they visit his pro day in addition to bringing him to Pittsburgh for a pre-draft visit. Wherever he ultimately lands, I believe Jenkins is a player who can contribute on defense during his rookie season. Due to his work ethic, I also believe he’s far away from his ceiling as a pass rusher.

Projection: 3rd Round

Games Watched: at Vanderbilt, vs Alabama (rain), at Florida

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Sheldon Rankins

  • Tom Jackson

    Hm Idk how to feel about Jenkins because of how you described him, Dave. It seems like he definitly has everything to become a good 34 OLB against the run. But we have two guys like that already. And his pass rushing skills seem to have limited potential. As he doesn’t have elite physicle skills and lacks refined moves as of right now. He would have to make a big jump in that category and I don’t know if that uncertainty has 2nd RND value for me. I’m willing to give him a look in the 3rd but in the 2nd I want good pass rushing potential written all over the guy as well if we go OLB.

  • SteelersDepot

    Personally, I like his potential as a pass rusher. those long arms and big hands will help his cause.

  • Tom Jackson

    But again like I said. He doesn’t have a refined pass rushing skill set yet and not the athleticism to be special. It’s seems to be a lot to overcome. Not that it’s impossible or I wouldn’t recognize the things you point out again with his measurables. Combineing that with great character and his high motor, I get where you’re coming from. And who knows maybe if I watch him myself I agree. But based on everything I read in your article I’m not condident he’ll become a good pass rusher and thats the guy I want in at least the first two RNDs.

    But thats what this time of a year is for to discuss, agree on things disagree on others. No harsh feelings there toward your take Dave, just feel slightly different on that one.

  • steelerfan13

    Oh dear God! You know what Force Players are? My two football worlds, Draft Twitter and Steelers Depot, are colliding. Anybody knows, you have to keep your worlds apart!

    Regarding Jenkins, I’m comfortable spending a Day 2 pick on him off of this report and the times I’ve watched Georgia live. I need to study, though.

  • Ma Masing

    i dont know if i can trust any more georgia OLBs someone help me i dont watch a lot of georgia games im more of a Gators fan is he a good player.

  • thomas hmmmm

    I like the physical traits.. But where is the production?

  • harding36

    Was really hoping the Steelers targeted him in the 3rd. Sounds like that might not be a possibility.

  • PittsburghSports

    I like him as a 2nd rd pick. I agree about the lack of bend and not many pass rushing moves, but he sure does use his arms and hands well. I wonder if he’s looked at more as a strong side OLB, where we already have Dupree. If we’re going OLB early, I’d much rather go rd 1 if Kevin Dodd is available, who I think has everything Jenkins is missing. Not so sure about Silique Calhoun, but he’s another edge guy that should be available. Dave Te-Thomas also mentioned that Joshua Perry could play as an edge defender, who I think is a great LB, but he played off the ball at Ohio St.

  • PittsburghSports

    Ya know I’ve seen that, but don’t really understand it. As far as I know, it’s just a list of do’s and don’t’s. I don’t think they tell you the formula, do they?

  • DoctorNoah

    Great. Another Georgia OLB? I am less and less impressed with the quality of the SEC these days. Dude is not a pass rusher.

    If I’m looking to set the edge against the run, I’m happy with what I have on the roster. Need a pass rushing beast.

  • Michael James

    This guy looks like a slightly less talented clone of Jarvis Jones. He will probably be a good player against the run and pick up a sack here and there, but I don’t see the impact pass rusher we need.

  • falconsaftey43

    Haha I was thinking alightly more talented, but I had the same comp. Think he is strong and explosive, doesnt seem to threaten the edge much. I like him a lot, not sure if he is a double digit sack guy, but those are hard to find.

  • LucasY59

    I dont like the OLB talent depth in this draft, I think he would be an ok 3rd rd pick, but he could go a lot earlier than that because there arent that many 3-4 OLBs so I think Jenkins has a good shot at going in the 2nd, I am not sure he will be the BPA in the 3rd either, and honestly I think his best value is in the 4th,

    he isnt a great pass rusher (and there is some possibility for him to improve) I think he will be a solid starter (that can play the run and occasionally get a sack) he will generate some pressure but most will be QB hurries or coverage sacks, as I dont think he will ever have dominant pass rush skills that will allow him to beat NFL OTs on a regular basis and get 10+ a yr,

    I think he is more of a rotational guy (maybe even depth since you really need the starters to have a great pass rush) so again the most I ever see him getting is about 5 or 6 sacks in a season, I dont think that is necessarily a terrible thing either, I think he could have a fairly long NFL Career 8-10 yrs and for a 4th rd pick that is Decent,

    If he gets picked earlier there will be more pressure for him to produce (and teams also seem to give those guys a shorter time to become productive, or else they move on) Its kinda weird how it works some times, the less pressure on a guy or investment = more patience, sometimes it is not the case (especially with 7th rd/UDFA types, give them a yr and if they show something they stay, if not not much loss and move on)

    but some of the early rd guys dont have a lot of time either, the team will usually let them play out their rookie contract, but if they are arent a Starter that is producing a lot on the field the team will be more willing to move on from them over a mid rd depth guy (the early guy could be decent depth, but the expectation of them makes them not as worthy?) sometimes its more about $ than production, and the early guys are used to getting more so they expect to be paid more, than just a depth players salary, but It does seem like there is some connection between when a player is drafted, and how long the player is given to develop/produce, and how long the team will keep them on the roster.

    sorry kinda a random rabbit trail of a thought

  • Matt Manzo

    I like the elephant type! And I’d love to walk away with both him and Darian Thompson!

  • Brian Tollini

    This Guy is growing on me, big time.