PHOENIX -- It’s been “years” since University of Georgia outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins has run the 40-yard dash, but he’s not letting that influence his focus heading into next week’s NFL scouting combine.
Regardless of how fast he covers 40 yards, it’ll be the jumping events that should get the attention of scouts, coaches and general managers.
“That’s where I feel like I’ll shine,” Jenkins said. “I got some hops in me.”
His explosiveness was one just one thing he hopes teams recognize in Indianapolis. Another is his athleticism.
After a morning workout at the Fischer Institute this week in Phoenix, Jenkins said his size will help his game translate to the NFL.
“I’m a lot bigger than most outside 'backers in this year’s draft class,” said the 6-foot-3, 257-pound Jenkins.
“I think at that size, my rushing moves are different. My moves are speed to power. That’s what a lot of guys in the league end up using. I feel like I can incorporate that into my pass-rush game really well and just the way the physicality or the physicalness I can rush with can translate really well.”
He played mainly in a 3-4 scheme at Georgia but claimed he can fit in any defensive system. However, there’s a comfort level for Jenkins pressuring the quarterback as a 3-4 edge rusher. Jenkins was fourth at Georgia with 59 tackles and second with four sacks.
At Georgia, he played with his hand in the dirt as well as standing up. Watching film of pass-rushers such as Denver’s DeMarcus Ware, Kansas City’s Justin Houston, Pittsburgh’s Jarvis Jones and Arizona’s Dwight Freeney has showed Jenkins where he needs to improve.
“I feel like I can improve with sort of eliminating some wasted movements and a little bit of hesitation and really just going out there and going and really just refining some stuff and incorporating my hands a little bit more into my pass rush,” Jenkins said.
One master of hand usage is Freeney, who led the Cardinals with eight sacks last season.
Jenkins has noticed.
“I like watching his long arm a lot,” Jenkins said. “He makes a lot of moves off of that long arm. He’ll start with a long arm and either do a stab or just go from speed to power and strong-arm a tackle.”
But there’s one move that Jenkins didn’t mention that could land Freeney in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: his spin move.
Asked if Jenkins thinks he can replicate Freeney’s spin, the 21-year-old was brash.
“Yes, sir,” he said, “I think I can.”