Jenkins, recruited to Florida State by Bowden, wasn't able to crack FSU's starting lineup until Fisher's first season at the helm. He posted only 12 tackles, including three tackles for loss, in 2009 but exploded onto the national scene as a true sophomore a year later, earning some All-American nods and First-Team All-ACC accolades with 63 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks in his first starting season. Among his most impressive games was a career-high nine tackle performance, including 3.5 for loss and two sacks against Boston College and their All-ACC offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo -- the Indianapolis Colts' first round pick.
Jenkins' burst off the snap makes him as dangerous an edge rusher as there is in college football, but he currently lacks the bulk to remain at defensive end in the NFL and may not possess the frame to handle additional weight without impacting his speed. Jackson possesses the long arms and appears to have the agility and speed to handle the transition to outside linebacker for teams operating out of the 3-4 alignment. If capable of proving his breakout 2010 season was no fluke, Jenkins could emerge as one of the top pass rushers available in the 2012 draft.
Read & React: Developing in this area. Is asked to pin his ears back and attack upfield as a defensive end in Florida State's scheme, but shows enough recognition of misdirection plays such as screens and draws to believe he could make the transition to outside linebacker. Possesses rare straight-line speed and the ability to scrape the line of scrimmage, chasing ball-carriers from behind.
Run Defense: Relies on his quickness to zip past the offensive tackle and beat backs to the edge against wide running plays. Simply lacks the bulk and strength to hold up against the run at this time. Plays with at least adequate leverage, but is easily moved off the ball. Was often run directly towards in power running plays as offenses took advantage of his lack of size. Possesses excellent speed to chase down ball-carriers from behind when he crashes the line, however, resulting in some impressive tackles for loss.
Pass Defense: Almost exclusively used as a pass rusher, though he was occassionally asked to drop into coverage on zone blitz packages. Appears to have enough lateral agility and flexibility to handle this transition, if necesarry.
Tackling: Has all of the physical tools scouts are looking for in this area, but remains a work in progress. Possesses long arms and at least moderate upper body strength for the drag-down tackle. Closes quickly and can provide an explosive pop due to the momentum he gains. Is not a naturally explosive hitter, however. Forced only two fumbles last season despite several of his 13.5 sacks being blindside hits.
Pass Rush/Blitz: Possesses as quick a first step off the snap as any pass rusher in the country. Guesses the snap count and can cross the face of the offensive tackle from his defensive end position before his opponent is completely out of his stance. Good flexibility to dip under the reach of the tackle. Creates good torque around the edge, demonstrating rare speed and closing ability. Still developing his use of hands. Does a nice job of slapping away the offensive tackle's initial punch, but hasn't yet shown a consistent swim or rip move. Occassionally features a spin back to the inside, though this is only marginally effective, at this time. Needs to do a better job of getting his hands up in the passing lanes, as he batted down only two passes last season. Possesses undeniable upside in this area, but is currently a bit of a one-trick speed rusher.
Intangibles: An early enrollee at Florida State. Helped catch the eye of FSU coaches with an impressive spring practice as a true freshman. Was recognized as the team's Most Valuable Player following the 2010 season, over quarterback Christian Ponder -- the No. 12 pick of 2011 draft (Minnesota Vikings). Has reportedly bulked up to 266 pounds. Had signed with FSU at closer to 245, spurning offers by other top programs, including Miami, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee."
Jenkins stats are way down this year; 29 tackles (6.5 tackles for loss) and 3.5 sacks through nine games.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher, for one, is not too concerned with Jenkins' numbers. "If (Jenkins) will quit listening to the media and Mel Kiper and all those guys.… Because the NFL doesn't care about numbers. They care about how you play. Just because you don't have a sack doesn't mean you're not doing things right."
Jenkins is doing things right and will likely continue to do so at the next level. He stands at 6'3'' and 265 pounds after adding 15 pounds from his sophomore to junior campaigns. That alone will help his draft stock regardless of the drop in statistics.
Jenkins generally runs in the 4.6s of the 40-yard dash. He is a good athlete, but not elite; makes himself lethal in the pass rush with a quick first step. Jenkins could move to outside linebacker in the NFL.
Bold Statement: Jenkins may not repeat the 13.5 sacks he had in 2010, but by the end of the season he'll be a more complete pass rusher.
Games Viewed: Oklahoma, BYU, Virginia, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, South Carolina
• Jenkins has a really good get off at the line of scrimmage. He doesn't have elite burst, but it's solid.
• Shows when he's asked to work around the edge that he can dip his shoulder and work to the outside. Really likes to use the spin move, which he uses to exploit linemen with slow feet.
• When dropping low and working to the outside, Jenkins needs to turn the corner faster. When linemen can reset their feet, Jenkins would often get ridden to the outside, behind the quarterback.
• Played almost exclusively over the left tackle in 2010.
• Needs to get stronger to fight through contact easier. Jenkins struggles against the run because he can't get a good push.
• Tends to get overwhelmed at the line of scrimmage, especially against power blockers. Orlando Franklin of Miami gave Jenkins trouble when he had to work straight ahead.
• Shows really good instincts to get his hands up when he comes up short on the rush.
• The thing that stands out about Jenkins the most is his fluidity and motor. He showed plenty of times last season that he doesn't stop working and can make plays down the line. Because of that, he may be best suited as a 3-4 linebacker in a scheme like Baltimore's."
Has a great first step and a very active motor; also is a good athlete with fluid hips who can plant and change direction; also effective spinning out of blocks; can also dip his shoulder and force his way around the corner on occasion, but has only average closing speed and isn’t going to just run around quality OTs;
Also isn’t all that big or strong and struggles to hold the point of attack, although he does have decent lateral range defending the run."
Negatives -- Doesn't have the frame to carry any additional weight without impacting his speed, already added 15 pounds following his sophomore season, lacks the bulk and power to remain at defensive end in the NFL, except maybe RDE in a Tampa-2... A bit of a one-trick pony as a speed rusher at this time, doesn't show a swim or rip move, is still a work in progress although he has the physical tools and upside to improve in every facet of the game... Needs to improve hand usage, struggles to disengage, has some difficulty fighting through contact, isn't very strong, can be pushed around and engulfed by more powerful linemen... Struggles to hold the point of attack, lacks the strength to often be a factor versus the run, teams will run directly at him and exploit his lack of size, will miss some tackles... Numbers were down this past season, but draft stock hasn't changed because he still played with the same passion and aggression, and was still making an impact on games."