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Saints release former starting nose tackle John Jenkins

METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints parted ways with another high draft pick who never fully materialized.

They released nose tackle John Jenkins, a third-round pick out of Georgia in 2013, who started a total of 22 games but lost his starting job this summer to Tyeler Davison.

Jenkins, 27, apparently became even more expendable after first-round draft choice Sheldon Rankins was activated from injured reserve Sunday. Jenkins was a healthy inactive for Sunday’s 41-23 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Jenkins (6-foot-3, 259 pounds) had a promising rookie year, highlighted by a sack in New Orleans’ playoff loss at Seattle that season. But he never really took the next step.

Jenkins had a total of 110 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble in three-plus seasons, plus the playoff sack.

He had a total of 10 tackles this season in seven games. He started one game when Davison was injured but averaged less than 20 snaps per game in the others.

The Saints have two open roster spots they haven’t filled yet. Coach Sean Payton said Monday the team will place a big emphasis on finding guys who can contribute on special teams, in part because projected special-teams standouts Craig Robertson and Nate Stupar have become full-time starters at linebacker.