Dolphins Open Final Day By Taking Florida LB Jenkins

Posted Apr 27, 2013

Speedy outside linebacker adds depth to the defense.

Finally, Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey has another Florida Gator in the locker room after the team chose linebacker Jelani Jenkins with the first of their two fourth-round picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Jenkins was taken with the 104th overall pick and brings quickness and athleticism to the defense as an outside linebacker, but a broken foot and hamstring issues shortened his redshirt junior season last year with the Gators. He was limited to just the bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine, where he bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times.

“I’m real cool with Mike Pouncey and I’m looking forward to seeing him and to being back in Florida as well,” said the 6-foot, 243-pound Jenkins, who was the Maryland Gatorade High School Player of the Year and chose Florida over Notre Dame, Penn State, USC and Stanford. “I think I have a lot of ability and I have a lot of hope for the future and I’m going to get better.”

Playing in the SEC definitely will benefit Jenkins at the next level and he will get to show off how healthy he is next week at rookie mini-camp. He finished his career at Florida with 182 tackles (109 solo), six sacks and three interceptions and is comfortable in pass coverage, having dropped into coverage around 60 percent of the time against some dangerous offensive weapons.

“Every week was like an NFL game it seemed like,” Jenkins said. “There was never really a week off and every team we faced they could beat us on any give day. The coaching I got in the SEC was second to none and prepared me well.”

Jenkins’ redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons were his best on the field and he put up nearly identical stats. In 2010 he recorded 76 tackles (41 solo) with two sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery and the next season he registered 75 tackles (48 solo), two sacks and one interception that he returned 75 yards for a touchdown.

“I think I tackle real well and I also cover real well,” Jenkins said. “Those are both things that I know I’m going to get better at as time goes by more so.”

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle and linebackers coach George Edwards will certainly work with him in those areas and others.
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