achiever1911 Posted April 15, 2008 Group: Member Topic Count: 0 Content Count: 420 Reputation: 1 Days Won: 0 Joined: 12/26/2001 Share Posted April 15, 2008 http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/2008-04-14-usat-cornerbacks_N.htmBy all accounts, South Florida's Mike Jenkins is a hard-hitting, fast-moving cornerback who loves to punish opponents, reads offenses quickly and can also return kicks for scores.But in this year's cornerback-rich NFL draft, those skills are available in relative abundance.Jenkins is projected by some to be the first cornerback drafted, but the top corners Ã¢â‚¬â€ including Troy's Leodis McKelvin, Kansas' Aqib Talib and Tennessee State's Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Ã¢â‚¬â€ are tightly bunched. "He's the best all-around talent of the cornerbacks in this year's draft," says Todd McShay, director of college football for Scouts Inc. and an ESPN draft analyst. "He has good size and is a big-time playmaker."McShay and other scouts say the best cornerbacks are so closely matched the final order is tough to predict but Jenkins is a lock for the first round."There's not a huge difference among the top four cornerbacks," he says. "None of them will go in the first 10. But the top four should all go in the first round. The only question is: Will he be able to play up to his potential? He needs to improve his recognition skills. He gambles too much."South Florida defensive backfield coach Troy Douglas says Jenkins has all the right tools for success."He's got all the measureables that you look for," Douglas says. "He plays faster than his numbers. If he runs a 4.3 in shorts, he'll run a 4.29 in the game."He's also got all the intangibles. He's a leader, he's always on time to meetings, always went to his summer workouts. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 18 times at the workouts, but he did 23 reps in our weight room."There have been questions about a 2007 incident that involved Jenkins and several teammates. A parking-lot fracas with a BB gun resulted in Jenkins being charged with non-violent interference with a police officer."Mike is a good kid," Douglas says. "The incident wasn't an issue for me or the team. It was a non-violent thing that happened when he was trying to break up a fight, trying to help out a teammate. I guess he just didn't move out fast enough for the police."But, McShay says, with the top cornerbacks so close in talent, anything can be an issue: "It does raise some character concerns."Jenkins has additional talents to close the deal. As a senior, he returned seven kickoffs for a total of 213 yards (30.4-yard average) and took one back 100 yards for a touchdown against Cincinnati."Return skills are helpful, but that's not his primary skill," McShay says. "He's built more like a running back."With the bounty of cornerbacks, teams have the luxury of waiting for a later round. The New Orleans Saints could be looking for a cornerback, but the 10th overall pick might be too early, McShay says. More likely, he says, are "Arizona at 16, Minnesota at 17, Houston has the primary need for a cornerback at 18, but there's also Tampa Bay at 20 and Dallas at 22 and 28. New Orleans and Buffalo are possibilities, as is New England at seven. But don't count on it."Jenkins is trying to stay relaxed about the draft. "You never know how these things turn out," he told BaltimoreRavens.com. "I've been going up and down in the mock drafts, and I can't worry about it. Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ It's just a lot of people making predictions based on rumors." Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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