With the clock striking midnight earlier this morning, it officially means that football is back this month!
In 24 days the Washington Redskins will relocate to the heart of Virginia’s Capital for the first practice of training camp.
While all eyes will be on the possible return to the gridiron of one Robert Griffin III, NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling will be keeping a close watch on a man who started 14 games last year but is rarely thrown into “must watch TV” discussions—defensive end Jarvis Jenkins.
Jenkins is one of his top-40 players he sees “Making The Leap” in 2013.
After five-year veteran Adam Carriker suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 against the St. Louis Rams last year, Jenkins was called into duty to replace the former Cornhusker for the remainder of the season.
Jenkins, the 41st selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, had no prior experience starting in the NFL after missing his entire rookie season with a torn ACL.
Despite his lack of experience with the starting 11, the former Clemson Tiger transitioned into his new role with relative ease, registering 14 tackles to include a season-high five against the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
“Coming off knee surgery, Jenkins didn’t exhibit the same power and quickness coming off the ball until after the Week 10 bye. He proved more stout against the run, as evidenced by this play where he sheds Baltimore Ravens guard Kelechi Osemele and explodes laterally to tackle Ray Rice for a 2-yard loss. This is the strength of Jenkins’ game.”
Coming into year three it’s evident that Jenkins is fully healthy and comfortable with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett’s 3-4 defense and ready to record his first career NFL sack—an obstacle Wesseling sees in No. 99’s way to getting to the “next” level.
“Jenkins’ biggest question coming out of Clemson was his low sack total playing alongside Da’Quan Bowers and Ricky Sapp. While he posted an impressive 31 tackles for loss in his college career, he had trouble getting to the quarterback. Those struggles continued last season when Jenkins failed to register a single sack in 14 starts.”
With his strengths and weaknesses in mind, Wesseling see’s Jenkins as a possible cog in a lethal pass-rushing trio.
“Now nearly two years removed from ACL surgery, Jenkins believes his game already has gotten “a lot faster” in 2013. He’s going to be an asset as a run-plugger regardless. If Jenkins is indeed back to 2011 pre-injury training-camp form, the Redskins might have a third pocket-crasher to team with Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.”
Keep close tabs on the battle between Carriker and Jenkins during training camp. It’s about to get interesting.
Tags: adam carriker, jarvis jenkins
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