Football season is knocking at our door! Now that the NFL lockout is in the rearview mirror FSU football fans won't only have our September 3rd date with the ULM Warkhawks to look forward to . Speaking of the NFL, I thought it would be very appropriate to look at where some of our elite players stand in regards to the 2012 NFL Draft. The first player that jumps out in my mind is Brandon Jenkins.
Jenkins established himself as one of the best defensive ends in the nation last season with 13.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss, ranked 3rd and fourth in the nation respectively. He has proven himself to be an elite pass-rusher, and since he dedicated himself to getting bigger in the weight room, his ablility to defend the run should be just as good this season. Even though Jenkins is only a junior, all of the NFL mock draft sites I visited have him going in either the mid or the late first round. If Jenkins has an all-around solid season, then he should rocket up the draft boards to the top 10 which could tempt him to leave early.
Where do the NFL Draft mockers have him going and where in the first round? I will have analysis and the links after the jump.
Walter Cherepinsky of Walterfootball.com has Jenkins going to the San Diego Chargers at pick No. 24. http://walterfootball.com/draft2012_1.php
Greg Cox, also of Walterfootball.com, has Jenkins going to New England Patriots at pick No.36. http://walterfootball.com/draft2012greg_1.php
NFLDraftScout.com, affiliated with CBS Sports, has Brandon Jenkins going 16th overall. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/TSX/2012
Chris Ransom of NFLmocks.com has Jenkins going to the San Diego Chargers with the 22nd pick. http://nflmocks.com/2011/08/08/chris-ransoms-2012-nfl-mock-draft-2-rounds-post-free-agency/
The draft mocks I visited also confirmed what Bud and many here on Tomahawk Nation have been saying and that is Brandon Jenkins likely will not stay at defensive end once he reaches the NFL. While Jenkins is a bit small to play end in a 4-3 scheme, he would be perfect as a rush linebacker in a 3-4 scheme with his elite pass-rushing ability and hopefully his improved ability to defend the run. Both mocks that picked San Diego as his destination see him as an upgrade over 2009 first-rounder Larry English, who so far has failed to develop as an effective pass-rusher. It would also make sense for Jenkins to go to the Patriots as he could be a conernstone in that defense next to Jerod Mayo.
FSU fans should enjoy Jenkins' talents as there is a decent chance he could turn pro after his junior season with or without moving up in the draft boards. While we may not miss him that much due to our outstanding recruiting, him turning pro so early helps recruiting in the long run as defensive ends even more talented than Jenkins will most certainly be vying for a scholarship offer from FSU. It also goes a long way to having NFL draft boards being littered with FSU prospects again, like it was in the 90's and early 2000's. Let me know what you guys think, the next piece will be on Andrew Datko's NFL prospects.