Nov 28, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jordan Jenkins (59) reacts after making a tackle against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia defeated Georgia Tech 13-7. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets needed to get younger and faster with their linebacker corps and made a great selection in the 2016 NFL Draft with Jordan Jenkins.
The New York Jets went into this year’s draft with an emphasis on upgrading their linebacker corps. In addition to drafting linebacker Darron Lee in the first round, the Jets selected Jenkins in the third round to help usher in a new era at the position.
At 6’3 and 259 pounds, Jenkins will bring aggression and strength at linebacker with the ability to even be a starter if all goes well during training camp and preseason football.
In his collegiate career at Georgia, Jenkins totaled 204 tackles, 19 sacks and six forced fumbles. If he can bring such results to the Jets’ defense, he’ll be a key impact player heading into his rookie year undoubtedly.
Without further ado, here are the top five reasons why he makes sense for the Jets in the grand scheme of things.
Next: 5. A classic overachiever
Nov 21, 2015; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Southern Eagles running back Markeis Hallback (38) runs against Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jordan Jenkins (59) during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgie defeated Georgia Southern 23-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
5. A classic overachiever
Jenkins made a career at Georgia of not only bringing the pressure to opposing quarterbacks but specializing in tackles for loss. At Georgia, he had 39 tackles for loss which works wonders in setting up an offense deep in enemy territory.
Last year as a defensive unit, the Jets only totaled 39 sacks. Their linebackers combined for 14.5 sacks which is decent but imagine if they had more production from this positional group when taking down the quarterback?
Truth of the matter is Jenkins is the kind of player that can step right in and take care of business. He’s very smart as a defender and should have an easy transition into the NFL.
Jenkins is a classic overachiever and should exceed expectations in his rookie year. Expect to see him truly make a name for himself the moment he steps foot on the gridiron.
Next: 4. Familiarity with defensive playbook
4. Familiarity with defensive playbook
What’s great for Jenkins is how familiar he’ll be adjusting to the defensive playbook of the Jets. Both the Bulldogs and Jets run a 3-4 defense which suits his strengths as a linebacker.
Whether the Jets plan to use Jenkins as their “Will” or “Sam” linebacker, he should be able to have no problems at all in executing his assignments. Combine that with his leadership abilities and Jenkins has the complete skill-set to really be something special on defense.
Jenkins could very well after a few years in the NFL, develop into a team captain for the Jets since he brings a nice presence to their locker room. He’s the kind of player that will have results and also rally the troops to deliver during key moments of games.
Overall, compared to other rookies in their given situations, Jenkins enters the NFL with a great advantage in that most of the defensive terminology he knows like the back of his hand.
Next: 3. Defensive versatility
Jan 2, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jordan Jenkins (59) tackles Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (26) during the third quarter at EverBank Field. Georgia defeated Penn State 24-17 to win the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
3. Defensive versatility
Defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers and head coach Todd Bowles have to be excited to have someone like Jenkins on their defense. His versatility will be huge when incorporating him into different sub packages and blitzing plays.
Jenkins does well either standing or lined up as a defensive lineman which should undoubtedly confuse opposing offensive coordinators. He might not be incredibly quick but will be a force to reckon with.
The Jets’ defense was good last season but not impressive. Their overall pass rush was lacking consistency and an ability to keep teams from getting first downs.
Overall, the Jets landed a linebacker that could be plug-and-play across various positions on defense. Whether it’s rushing the quarterback or going back in coverage, Jenkins can do it all.
Next: 2. Lee & Jenkins could be dynamic duo
Nov 28, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back De’Veon Smith (4) rushes on Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Darron Lee (43) in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
2. Lee & Jenkins could be dynamic duo
When the Jets drafted both Lee and Jenkins to bolster their linebacker corps, it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. The secret to the Jets’ defense is being able to have a potent pass rush to force throws which in turn can potentially cause turnovers.
Lee brings an incredible defensive skill-set which will bring some major speed to the Jets’ pass rush. Combining that with Jenkins could have the Jets field a new dynamic duo but on the defensive side of the football.
Both young linebackers could wreak havoc for years to come on the Jets’ defense as they will face a very tough schedule heading into the upcoming season.
Overall, since the NFL is now a passing league, it was important for the Jets to upgrade their pass rush in order to keep up with some of the best offenses they will see in 2016. This new dynamic duo should be able to surprise many.
Next: 1. A true edge pass rusher
Nov 8, 2014; Lexington, KY, USA; Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Jordan Jenkins (59) tackles Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Patrick Towles (14) at Commonwealth Stadium. Georgia defeated Kentucky 63-31. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
1. A true edge pass rusher
At the end of the day, the Jets needed to add top pass rushers in hopes of continuing the momentum they built upon from last year. They ended 2015 at 10-6 and just a game away from making the NFL Playoffs.
That bitter pill to swallow will continue to sting until the Jets are able to move past it and focus on an even better season ahead. Their overall pass rush is much-improved compared to last year as they should have their defense be their top strength of the team.
Jenkins is entering a great situation with the Jets as he will do his best to prove his worth and bring his collegiate success to the spotlight. There is no question he’ll be an impact player as he fits the mold of a true edge pass rusher the Jets have been looking for the past few years.
Overall, his ability to bring down the ball carrier will translate into serious results, especially against the run. The kind of results that have the makings to finally end the playoff drought that the Jets have been plagued with all these years. This team is built to win now as their defense will once again be the talk of the city that never sleeps in 2016.