Thankfully, Brandon Jenkins is foregoing the NFL draft and entering his senior season at Florida State. In my opinion, Jenkins made the right decision to return based on the reported second round grade he received from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. There are some very good prospects at DE entering the draft this year such as Whitney Mercilus (ILL), Melvin Ingram (USCe), Jared Crick (NEB), and Andre Branch (Clemson) and they all can't be selected in the first 32. The field doesn’t appear to be as top heavy next season so it’s only sensible for Jenkins to return as the senior leader of what could (should?) be the best defense in the country in 2012-2013.
There are certain things Jenkins can improve on that will help his draft stock as well. The most discussed of these (today) has been his size. Wanna know how Jenkins stacks up to the best the NFL has to offer? Sure you do! I’ll show you after the jump.
The average of the last 12 DE’s drafted in the top 15 (2006-2011) is 6’4", 269 lbs.
12 of the 15 active sack leaders in the NFL are listed as DE’s. That means the player most likely to legally maim your QB is a 6’4", 267 lbs defensive end.
At 6’3", 260, Brandon Jenkins is much closer to the physical prototype for an NFL rush end than some realize. He certainly is not 20 lbs away.
The NFL is a pass happy league which has made speed rushers incredibly important for any defense. If Jenkins’ 2012-2013 numbers are the simply the averages of his past two seasons, he may find himself called early on day one of the Draft. His decision to return could be worth millions.
Note: Sources are NFL.com and pro-football-reference.com.