There are two things that I truly love in this draft class. One is this overall safety class, which is extremely deep with so many guys who could be future starters in the NFL. The other one is that I simply love Miami prospects in this class. I have guys like Brad Kaaya, Joseph Yearby, Stacey Coley, Corn Elder, and Adrian Colbert higher than most people. The one player that combines my love for both of these aspects this draft season is Rayshawn Jenkins.
The former high school hurdled and multi position athlete starred for a very physical Miami defense last season. On the year, Jenkins finished with 76 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, and 1.5 sacks. For his entire career Jenkins tallied 201 tackles, 9 interceptions, and 15 pass deflections.
Jenkins is a top notch athlete especially for a strong safety. He does go cold at times and disappear from games but always leaves his mark with a game changing hit. I have no doubts in my mind that Jenkins can be a very effective strong safety at the next level.
Name: Rayshawn Jenkins
Size: 6’1”/ 214 lbs/ 32 3/4” arm length
Comparison: Bernard Pollard
Draft Grade: Late 3rd Round
Combine: 40 yard dash: 4.51, Bench Press: 19 reps, Vertical: 37”, Broad: 128”
Strengths: Very aggressive downfield player, plays like his hair is on fire. Loves to hit and comes down from his safety position with great speed. Crushes receivers over the middle, lays into running backs once they get to the second level. Play speed and explosion are well above average for his position. Effective as a box player, has the strength and athleticism to play that role at a high level. Can also succeed in a two deep safety role. Excels at contesting the ball in the air and has the hands and ball skills to make plays in the back end. Takes very disciplined angles to the ball in pursuit. Can move very effortlessly from sideline to sideline when in run pursuit. His combination of size, speed, and aggressive play will translate well to the next level.
Weaknesses: Instincts and awareness deep are very average for a safety, does not anticipate quarterback’s decisions. He is one of those see it rather than read it type players. Man coverage needs a lot of work, very stiff and lethargic in and out of his breaks. Stiff movement skills hurt him especially in off ball coverage, struggles to move with quicker slot guys. Lacks that physical mentality in press coverage too, needs to get his hands on the receiver to be more effective. Tackling form needs to improve, comes in with his shoulder too much going for the knock out hit. Needs to wrap up more at the next level.
Overview: Rayshawn Jenkins is the one safety in this class that fits that “Kam Chancellor” mold that draft people talk so much about every draft season. He loves to come downfield with great speed and punish ball carriers and receivers alike. If used as a box safety primarily and as a two deep safety occasionally, Jenkins could be a very solid strong safety at the next level. If a defensive coordinator can teach him better technique in man coverage, Jenkins has the size, speed, and physicality to be a premier safety in the NFL.