Now one of the elder statesmen on the New York Jets defense, outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins knows what he has to do to be successful in 2019.
Heading into the 2019 offseason, fans and analysts alike pegged the outside linebacker spot as one of the biggest needs for the New York Jets.
After missing out on Anthony Barr in free agency, fans were even more concerned heading into the 2019 NFL draft. The Jets helped ease those fears by spending a third-round pick on Florida’s Jachai Polite, but there’s already one player in-house who could end up exceeding expectations.
Jordan Jenkins is ready to rise to the occasion and attack whatever role he’s given in the Jets’ new scheme under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
Now with a few NFL seasons under his belt, Jenkins feels more prepared to put together a successful season than ever before (via team contributor Randy Lange):
Yeah, I’m older. Just turned 25. I’m more mature than I’ve been. I know the workload it takes to be a player in this league, and I know what needs to be done to get better.
If you don’t put in the work every day, it’s not going to happen. Stuff ain’t given to you. You’ve got to go out there and earn it.
A third-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft out of Georgia, Jenkins has appeared in 46 games over his three seasons in New York, making 37 starts. Last season, he posted a career-high seven sacks, giving him 12.5 for his career so far.
The Jets are loaded along the defensive line, especially after adding No. 3 overall pick Quinnen Williams to an experienced group that includes Leonard Williams, Henry Anderson and Steve McClendon. But the team desperately needs an impact edge rusher to get after opposing quarterbacks, and while Polite has potential, Jenkins has the experience and polish to make an immediate impact this season.
It sounds like Jenkins is prepared to build on last year’s success by re-setting the bar for his career-best numbers.