As the Jets get close to training camp, I am going to examine the roster and give you my top 25 players. Each weekday, we will reveal another person on the list, leading right into camp. I am not including rookies on this list because I do not feel it is possible to fully evaluate them before they play a game.
No. 14: Jordan Jenkins
Last year’s ranking: 18
Age on Opening Day: 25
How acquired: Selected in the third round of the 2016 Draft
Years left on contract: 1
2019 Salary Cap figure: $2.2 million
Looking back at 2018: Jenkins played all 16 games last year, starting 11 at outside linebacker.
Jenkins had his best season as a pass rusher, tying for the team lead with seven sacks. He also had two forced fumbles and recovered two fumbles.
No one is going to confuse Jenkins with Khalil Mack or Von Miller, but I think he has proven himself to be a capable starter with the Jets. He sometimes gets fooled against the run and fails to keep contain, but overall he has been a strong edge setter with the Jets.
Pro Football Focus does not agree. The web site ranked him 98thout of 103 edge rushers graded. It appears he got marked down severely for his coverage skills, but I don’t think the Jets asked him to cover all that often. I don’t agree with their grade on Jenkins.
Outlook for 2019: New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams likes to say he has 42 different packages of defense. You can bet he will find creative ways to use Jenkins.
Outside linebackers coach Joe Vitt raved about Jenkins when he spoke to the media in the spring. Jenkins is a serious, hard-working player that coaches like. What he lacks in natural ability he makes up for with work ethic.
This is a critical season for Jenkins, who is scheduled to hit free agency after this year. Jenkins needs to put up some big numbers this year if he wants a payday from the Jets or another team.
Like many players on the Jets roster, this is a tryout, in a sense, for Jenkins. He has a shot to prove to new coach Adam Gase and new general manager Joe Douglas that he should be part of the long-term plan they have for the team.
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