Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2008 – Round 1 #25 – Dallas Cowboys – Mike Jenkins (via Seattle Seahawks)

NFL Draft 2008 Logo The Dallas Cowboys have moved up three spots, presumably for a cornerback. They take DB Mike Jenkins of South Florida.

I like this move. Indeed, Jenkins is higher rated than Felix Jones, who they took three picks earlier.

Scouts, Inc.: 17th

(5’10″, 197, 4.379) | SOUTH FLORIDA
Scouts Grade: 94

Strengths: Is thickly built for his adequate height. He has very quick feet and is extremely smooth getting in and out of his backpedal. Does a good job of opening up hips, shows a second gear when tracking the ball downfield and has the long arms to occasionally tip away passes from a trail position. Possesses outstanding top-end speed and can make up ground when the ball is in the air. Is smooth when forced to change directions quickly, shows very good burst coming out of cuts and shows outstanding balance coming out of his pedal. Times jumps fairly well and is tall enough to compete for jump balls. Continues to show more versatility with experience. Has some experience lining up at safety, can line up over the slot or on the outside and shows good instincts and closing burst when turned loose on the blitz. Has experience blocking for punt returns and shows some upside as a return specialist.

Weaknesses: Hasn’t shown great upper body strength, doesn’t use hands that well and gives away the inside too much. Though reads quarterback’s eyes and consistently gets into position to make plays on the ball, he lacks ideal ball skills. Mis-times some of his jumps, locates the ball late occasionally and will knock down some passes he should intercept. Run support aggressiveness is sporadic. Not overly physical, doesn’t shed blocks well and takes poor angles to the ball at times. Character is a concern after 2007 arrest/suspension.

Overall: Jenkins appeared in 38 games (28 starts) in his first three seasons (2004-’06), recording 92 tackles (two for losses), three interceptions and 29 pass breakups. As a senior, he started all 13 games at right cornerback and had 41 tackles (four for losses), three interceptions and 12 pass breakups. He also has experience at safety and returning kicks. He averaged 30.4 yards on nine kickoff returns last season, returning one kick 100 yards for a touchdown. Jenkins suffers from an asthmatic condition, and in ’04 he missed one game because of an ankle injury. In 2007, he was arrested after a fight outside a bar and charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing or opposing an officer without violence. Jenkins’ asthmatic condition and 2007 arrest do create some reasons for concern. However, he did not miss playing time due to medical reasons the past three seasons and the off-the-field incident appears to be isolated. Jenkins has always possessed outstanding natural ability, including ideal speed and athleticism for a well-built cover corner. His recognition skills, technique and overall versatility improved as a senior, which is why he finally shot up NFL teams’ draft boards. Jenkins proved in 2007 that he’s capable of holding up on an island versus opponents’ top receivers and he became a bigger factor in run support. He came up big in clutch situations (see: interception returned to the Auburn two yard-line) and showed some promise in brief duty as a return man. Overall, Jenkins ranks among the top-three cover corners in this year’s draft, which is why we give him a mid-to-late first round grade.

Rick Gosselin: 15th

Mel Kiper: 22nd

This is more like it. Great pick by the Cowboys: It fills an important need and it’s a good value at the slot.

UPDATE: Here are the details on the trade:


First-round pick (25th overall) — South Florida CB Mike Jenkins


First-round pick (28th overall) — USC DE Lawrence Jackson
Fifth-round pick (163rd overall)
Seventh-round (235th overall)

Mike Jenkins Dallas Cowboys Draft Pick Photo That’s a lot to move up three spots, I think, but chances are that a 5th and 7th rounder won’t make this Cowboys roster.

UPDATE: Here’s a photo of Jenkins via Rick Herrin at Cowboys Corner.

His partner, Charean Williams, reports that, “The Texans would have taken Mike Jenkins. The Cowboys knew this, which is why they leap-frogged the Texans.”

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