2017 NFL Draft

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Malcolm Jenkins, CB

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 204 | College: Ohio State
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Jenkins is regarded as the best Big Ten Conference defensive back since Michigan's Charles Woodson terrorized league quarterbacks and receivers en route to capturing the Heisman Trophy in 1997. The similarities in their game is what most impresses pro scouts, as both are known for their physicality in playing the bump-and-run, along with the ability to make game-changing plays.

The comparisons between the two continue, as most experts also envision Jenkins moving to free safety in the professional ranks, a position Woodson was moved to midseason last year with the Green Bay Packers. Jenkins, the three-time All-Big Ten Conference choice, usually plays on the wide side of the field, but often moves around the field to cover the opponent's best receiver.

Called a natural pass defender with great instincts and outstanding speed and quickness, Jenkins excels at man-to-man coverage. He tied the school career record by returning two of his 11 career interceptions for touchdowns and has also used his excellent leaping ability as a standout special team performer, having blocked three kicks during his career. In 49 games for the Buckeyes, he has never allowed a touchdown reception.

At Piscataway High School, Jenkins led his team to three consecutive state titles. The All-State and All-American choice played receiver and defensive back. He also excelled at track, winning the state title in the 400-meter dash as a junior. He took third place in the 200 meters as a junior and finished third in the hurdles as a senior at the state meet.

Most freshmen spend their first year residing on special teams at Ohio State, but Jenkins appeared in 10 games at nickel back, starting three games at that position and three more at boundary cornerback late in the season. He suffered a knee sprain that sidelined him for the final two regular-season contests, but he returned to play in the Fiesta Bowl vs. Notre Dame. He produced 37 tackles (23 solos), broke up two passes and returned an onside kick 34 yards as a 180-pounder.

Having bulked up during the offseason, Jenkins took over field cornerback duties in 2006, starting all 13 games. The All-Big Ten Conference first-team pick led the OSU secondary with 55 tackles (40 solos) that included 4.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He broke up four passes and intercepted four others, returning one 61 yards for a score in the Penn State clash. He also blocked one punt.

Jenkins was a Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) semifinalist as a junior. He added All-American and All-Big Ten Conference honors, as he shifted to boundary cornerback, starting all 13 contests. He produced 44 tackles (27 solo) and five stops behind the line of scrimmage. Teams refused to throw to his side of the field, as the opposition completed just 32.3 percent of passes thrown into his area. He intercepted four passes, as he returned one for a score and knocked down three other throws.

The team captain was a unanimous All-Big Ten choice and consensus All-American in 2008. He captured the Jim Thorpe Award and was a semifinalist for Bednarik Award (top defensive player in the nation). He shifted back to field cornerback, taking on the top receiver each game, as he totaled 57 tackles (34 solos) and caused three fumbles. He added three pass thefts, nine pass deflections and had four stops for loss. He also continued to excel on special teams, blocking two more punts. The opposition averaged just 3.83 yards on 60 pass attempts into his territory.


Positives: Lockdown corner. … Very physical at the line, has a strong punch to knock receivers off their route. … Attacks ballcarriers behind the line, making secure tackles. … Also willing to assist in tackles downfield or inside. … Effective playing off receivers as he can flip open his hips and accelerate, close quickly on the ball in front of him or change direction to mirror receivers. … Stays with even the fastest receivers down the sideline. … Plays free safety on occasion and has all of the tools to succeed there in the NFL. … Excellent hands for the interception, and he has the vertical to high-point the ball and strength to fight for it. … Can make plays with the ball in his hands.

Negatives: Creates havoc on the blitz but doesn't always finish. … Will take chances to make a play on the ball. … Could improve his tackling in the open field -- will occasionally drop his head instead of watching what he hits. … Inconsistent taking on and getting off receiver blocks, and will hesitate to get to ballcarriers coming into his area. … Must prove he has the mental discipline needed to handle getting constantly challenged as a rookie after rarely being thrown at in college.

Compares To: CHARLES WOODSON, Green Bay -- With receivers the size of Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss becoming more common, defensive coordinators realize the need for big, physical cornerbacks. When analyzing the talent at this position, Jenkins stands well above the rest of the class. He might not be flashy or have many interceptions, but he knows how to play and won't be a liability against the run.

Scouting Report


GRADE: 7.08

Body Structure: Jenkins is a rare-sized athlete with long arms and legs, good muscle mass and definition throughout. He possesses good chest thickness, broad shoulders, tight waist and hips, tapered thighs and calves. He is a rangy type with tight skin.

Athletic Ability: Jenkins has rare size and the quickness needed to excel in run force. He shows suddenness attacking the ball in front of him and quick feet to come up quick to plug rush lanes. He has above-average acceleration on deep routes and the ability to stay on the hip of receivers. He has excellent body control working in the box, using his hands to prevent blockers from attacking his body. For his size, he runs with a quick stride. He can be explosive in and out of his breaks and looks very fluid changing direction. He shows the hip flip to accelerate and close on the play or mirror the receiver throughout the route. He has the range and catch-up speed to recover when beaten and also shows very good leaping ability. He has the flexibility and movement skills to slip through and avoid blocks in run support and is quick to redirect in pursuit. GRADE: 7.8

Football Sense: Jenkins is a smart player vs. the pass, but is a bit hesitant digesting running plays. He plays with good instincts and keeps his head on a swivel working in the zone, but must be more decisive getting through trash to locate the ballcarrier. His is alert in zone coverage, easily handling the switch-off. He is best when making plays in front of him, but shows the vision to track the ball over his shoulder on deep routes. He is a good student of the game who puts in extra hours in the film room to study his opponents. He is very capable of handling the mental aspect of the game, reminding some of Charles Woodson (Green Bay) with his ability to scan the field and locate the ball in flight. His knowledge of every secondary position could see him bring immediate value as a nickel back at the next level. He has enough range to play safety and is capable of making the coverage call and checks. GRADE: 6.9

Character: Jenkins was a mentor for the team's younger players at Ohio State. He is a leader by example on the field, but grabbed a more vocal role in the locker room after being named defensive captain. He is very mature for his age and has the blue-collar work ethic to go with his blue-chip ability. He does well in the classroom and has no known off-field issues. He is not the type that needs attention. He takes well to hard coaching and comes across as very respective and team-oriented in interviews. GRADE: 7.2

Competitiveness: Jenkins is very physical in press coverage. He will consistently reroute receivers and shock and jolt bigger blockers with its power. He is best when matched up against the opponent's primary target and relishes the challenge. He plays until the whistle and performs with an aggressive, hard-hitting style. Rather than get frustrated when opposing offenses stayed away, he made one-third of his tackles at the opposite side of the field (of the 30 receptions by an opponent he was involved in, only seven were caught by his man coverage assignment in 2008). He is not the type that will hang his head for long if beaten and he is a true competitor who will extend himself to make the play on effort. GRADE: 7.5

Work Habits: Jenkins cares about one thing -- winning and has no concerns about his stats. He comes to play and has a solid work ethic. The coaches use him as a role model for younger players to emulate. He has a quiet mentality to him on the field, but will not hesitate to get vocal in the huddle. He could use some additional strength, but is not the type to shy away from hard work in the training room. He will do what is needed to improve performance and has enough moxie and makeup to make the secondary calls. GRADE: 7.3


GRADE: 7.12

Key and Diagnostic Skills: Some teams prefer Jenkins as a safety, reasoning that his size is more suited for that position, and factoring in his excellence in zone coverage. He has a good feel for the quarterback and plays the center of the field with excellent range and vision. His field intelligence is evident in his ability to lend support vs. the run and understand the assignment of all of his teammates. He is quick to locate the ball and excels when asked to work inside the box in run force. He has the uncanny knack for sifting out the ball and is rarely caught out of position. He plays the ball very well and knows how to work through the receiver to bat the ball away or generate a strong enough hand punch to lock his man up at the line of scrimmage. He knows how to recognize blocking schemes and it is very difficult to fool him at the snap. He is not the type who will guess in zone overage, knowing what he has to do and completing that assignment. His ability and knowledge of the defense will see him do a very good job of making adjustment calls. He just gets a little bit too confident in man coverage and needs to stay on his assignment's hip instead of giving up so much cushion. GRADE: 7.7

Man Coverage Ability: The OSU system allowed Jenkins to press and he has the punch to impede the forward progress of the receiver at the line of scrimmage. He uses his upper-body strength and hands to jam but gets a bit overconfident and tries to challenge his coverage assignment by allowing a big cushion to invite throws his direction. He does have problems adjusting to low throws (needs to do a better job of reaching around to deflect the pass) and smart teams can have some success vs. him working underneath. He does have the acceleration to quickly recover if beaten. His size makes him capable of handling larger receivers and most tight ends and he is quick to use his size to his advantage, as receivers struggle to shield the ball from him after the catch. He can reroute, flip and run, showing crisp stop-and-go action. Whether playing the man tight or loose, Jenkins somehow manages to be in good position to make the play. GRADE: 6.5

Zone Coverage Ability: Jenkins excels breaking down and closing on plays in front of him. He uses his hands well to jam at the line and is very alert when handling the switch-off. He has the short-area burst to make plays underneath and could eventually grow into a safety in the Brian Dawkins (Denver) mold. He gets good depth in his pass drop and when reacting to the ball and has a good concept for taking proper angles. He is good at reading and reacting to the quarterback and won't bite on play-action fakes. He is alert and sees threats, quickly planting and driving on the ball. GRADE: 8.2

Backpedal Skills: Jenkins shows good hip snap and will not take extra steps in his backpedal. He stays under control in transition and has the quick feet to burst out and break on the ball with urgency. Even for a player of his height, he looks fluid and can flip his hips, showing better change-of-direction skills than players of similar proportion. He is low in his backpedal and his loose hips let him turn and run with the receivers. GRADE: 7.5

Ball Reaction Skills: Jenkins might not have a great interception total or rack up a lot of pass breakups, but when more than 35 percent of the passes thrown to receivers in his area fail to reach the target, it underlines his ability to jam or reroute his man (had at least one reroute in 42-of-45 games started during his career). He is quick to come up in the box and fill rush lanes. He also excels closing on the ball, showing the burst to make plays in front of him and the lateral movement to string plays wide. He has a good short-area burst and closes with urgency. When he plays the ball, he will not hesitate to compete for it in traffic. He is also efficient tracking the ball in flight. He times leaps well and makes every effort to get to the ball. He only gets in trouble when he allows the receiver too much cushion. GRADE: 6.9

Range/Recovery: The OSU system of playing off the man doesn't show the range Jenkins possesses. He does give up too much cushion but when he stays on the hip of the receiver going deep, he has the acceleration to recover if a receiver gets behind him. He is best when covering ground with the ball in the air, as he knows how to track it and takes good angles to shorten the field. He has more than enough burst to get back into deeper play. He really enjoys chasing down ballcarriers on the corner, making him an excellent eighth man playing in the box. GRADE: 7.4

Jumping Ability: Jenkins is fearless going for the ball in a crowd. He times leaps well and does a good job attempting to catch it with hands extended away from the framework. His size helps him win most contested jump balls from taller receivers. He can even do a good job of jumping on the run, as he is very fluid making body adjustments when he attempts to go vertical. His only problem is that he lacks natural hands, which sees a few certain interceptions turn into deflections instead. GRADE: 6.3

Hands: Jenkins will extend and snatch away from the frame, but he lacks natural hands to be a great interceptor. He is much more effective using his hands to jam and reroute receivers at the line of scrimmage. His hand strength and active hands also come into play when he uses them to stave off and slip past blocks when working near trash. GRADE: 6.4

Run Defense: Jenkins hits like a linebacker and seems to relish playing inside the box. He stays low in his pads, extends his arms properly and keeps his base wide to wrap and secure. He has good body control in space and uses his size well to collide with the ballcarrier, but would be more effective if he kept his hands active in attempts to shed. He takes good angles to the ball, especially along the corners. He is better than most other college cornerbacks at getting involved vs. the run, as he will leverage and come to the line with little delay. He is a classic wrap tackler who works hard to dislodge the ball from his opponent. GRADE: 7.2

Tackling Ability: Jenkins keeps his base wide, pad level low and arms extended and excels as a wrap-up tackler. He has enough strength to drive back the ballcarriers and receivers on initial contact. He is good at making the open-field tackle, showing little regard for his own body in order to make the play. He is dependable working in the box, playing with good aggression to take on and shed blocks working through trash, but must be more active with his hands when trying to shed. When squared up in tight quarters, he has classic wrap-up technique that most former OSU corners like Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield and Nate Clements have shown. He takes good angles to tackle and will drag down with efficiency. GRADE: 7.3

Compares To: CHARLES WOODSON, Green Bay -- With receivers the size of Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss becoming more common, defensive coordinators realize the need for big, physical cornerbacks. When analyzing the talent at this position, Jenkins stands well above the rest of the class. He might not be flashy or have many interceptions, but he knows how to play and won't be a liability against the run.


Career Notes

Jenkins started 45 of 49 games for Ohio State; 26 at field cornerback, 16 at boundary cornerback and three at nickel back … Recorded 196 tackles (124 solos) with an 8-yard sack, 13.5 stops for losses totaling 47 yards and one quarterback pressure … Caused four fumbles and deflected 18 passes … Had 11 interceptions for 159 yards (14.45 avg), as his two returns for touchdowns tied the school career record that he shares with Brandon Mitchell (2003-06), Damon Moore (1995-98), Andy Katzenmoyer (1996-97), Neal Colzie (1972-74), William White (1984-87) and David Brown (1986-89) … Blocked three punts, gaining 51 yards on six punt returns (8.5 avg) and also had a 34-yard kickoff return.

2008 Season

Consensus All-American first-team and unanimous All-Big Ten Conference first-team choice … Winner of the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's premier defensive back … Quarterfinalist for the Ronnie Lott Trophy and semi-finalist for the Bednarik Award … Was named team captain … Shifted back to field cornerback, starting all thirteen games to lead a secondary that ranked 13th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (105.23 rating), as he collected a career-high 57 tackles (34 solos) with an 8-yard sack and four stops for losses of 23 yards … Caused three fumbles, deflected nine passes and intercepted three others for 7 yards in returns … Also blocked a pair of punts that he advanced for a total of 28 yards … Held the opposition to 230 yards and no touchdowns on 30 catches of 60 passes targeted into his area (7.67 yards per completion/3.83 yards per pass attempt) … Registered 22 third-down stops, including 18 vs. the pass … Did not allow his main pass coverage assignment to catch any passes in seven contests, as those receivers managed just seven receptions for 66 yards (9.43 yards per completion).

2008 Game Analysis

Youngstown State … Jenkins did not allow a reception while breaking up two passes, both coming on third-down plays … Forced YSU to punt after breaking up a Todd Rowan third-&-13 pass midway through the first quarter and did it again on a third-&-10 snap with 1:55 left in the third frame … Also killed a fourth quarter possession when he prevented Dom Barnes from getting to a third-&-11 pass … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#1-Ferlando Williams (6:01-190)-did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins.

Ohio University … Jenkins picked off a pass, deflected another, jammed his coverage assignment on three incomplete throws and tackled Chris Garrett for a 3-yard loss on a second quarter swing pass … Three of his hits came on third-down plays, as he also intercepted Boo Jackson's third-&-10 second quarter pass at the OSU 39 … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#7-LaVon Brazil (5:11-189)-did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins.

Southern California … It was a game the All-American would just as soon forget, as his two penalties led to Trojan touchdowns in a 35-3 loss … Her jumped offside on a late first quarter third-&-4 pass attempt and QB Mark Sanchez followed with a 35-yard scoring strike to Stanley Havili … Jenkins was charged with a face mask penalty on an 18-yard catch by Patrick Turner, setting up Sanchez' 24-yard touchdown toss … Jenkins made a season-high ten tackles (6 solos) for the day … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#1-Patrick Turner (6:05-220)-caught one pass for 18 yards vs. Jenkins.

Minnesota … In the Buckeyes' opening of Big Ten competition, Jenkins posted four solo tackles … Late in the third quarter, a corner blitz saw Jenkins chase down QB Adam Weber for a 10-yard loss, causing a fumble that OSU recovered at the Gophers 25 … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#81-Ralph Spry (5:11-179)-caught one pass for 4 yards vs. Jenkins.

Wisconsin … Jenkins picked off a pass, deflected another and made four tackles … He brought out the Badgers punting unit after rerouting Isaac Anderson from a third-&-6 incomplete pass at the start of the second half … With 1:03 left in the game, he preserved a 20-17 decision when he picked off an Allan Evridge pass for a 7-yard return and the Buckeyes ran out the clock … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#6-Isaac Anderson (5:11-176)-caught one pass for 8 yards vs. Jenkins.

Purdue … Jenkins registered three third-down stops and another on fourth down among his four solo tackles, as he also blocked a punt, intercepted a pass and deflected another in a 23-7 triumph … after Purdue's game-opening possession failed, he blocked a Chris Summers punt that OSU recovered for a touchdown … At the start of the second quarter, he picked off a third-&-9 toss by Curtis Painter at the Purdue 30 … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#19-Brandon Whittington (6:02-213)-did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins.

Michigan State … Jenkins made two third-down hits and rerouted his coverage assignment three times while delivering nine tackles (7 solos) with an 8-yard sack and a forced fumble … MSU was forced to punt late in the first quarter after the OSU cornerback took down All-American tailback Javon Ringer for a 3-yard loss … Sacked QB Kirk Cousins for an 8-yard loss on third-&-11, causing a fumble that OSU recovered for a touchdown … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#3-B.J. Cunningham (6:02-207)-did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins.

Penn State … The field cornerback rerouted receivers away from two passes and made three third-down hits among his four tackles … In the fourth quarter, he stopped Evan Royster on a third-&-10 catch-&-run that netted just 7 yards, bringing out PSU's punting squad … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#3-Deon Butler (5:10-168)-caught one pass for 4 yards vs. Jenkins.

Northwestern … Jenkins followed with seven tackles (3 solos), as he also caused a fumble when he knocked the ball out of Eric Peterman's hands after a 5-yard catch and the Buck-eyes recovered it to set up a 33-yard field goal … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#10-Eric Peterman (6:01-195)-caught two passes for 27 yards vs. Jenkins.

Illinois … Jenkins registered just two tackles, but he blocked a late first quarter punt that resulted in a safety and deflected three passes … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#13-Will Judson (5:08-163)-did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins.

Michigan … The defensive captain made five tackles, including three on third-down plays that forced the Wolverines to punt after each occasion … Brought the crowd to its feet when he came out of nowhere to knock a Nick Sheridan pass out of the hands of Greg Matthews midway through the final quarter … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#13-Greg Matthews (6:03-207)-did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins.

Texas (Fiesta Bowl) … Jenkins closed out his career with three tackles, including an assist in stopping fullback Chris Ogbonnaya for a 1-yard loss on a rushing attempt to start the second quarter … Main Pass Coverage Assignment: WR#3-Jordan Shipley (6:00-197)-did not catch any passes vs. Jenkins.

2007 Season

All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report and Pro Football Weekly, adding second-team honors from Rivals.com, the Associated Press and Walter Camp … Thorpe Award semifinalist … Unanimous All-Big Ten Conference first-team pick … Started all thirteen games at boundary cornerback, helping the team lead the nation in total defense (233.0 ypg), scoring defense (12.77 ppg) and pass defense (150.15 ypg) … Paced the secondary with 44 tackles (27 solos) that included five stops for losses of 13 yards … Had four interceptions for 53 yards (13.2 avg) and a touchdown while also deflecting three other tosses … Gained 16 yards on three punt returns.

2007 Game Analysis

Jenkins returned a partially blocked punt 21 yards vs. Youngstown State had eight tackles (4 solos) with a stop for a 3-yard loss and a 3-yard interception return in the Washington clash … Added a 3-yard interception to go with five tackles vs. Minnesota … Posted nine tackles (8 solos), including one that stopped tailback Kory Sheets for a 4-yard loss vs. Purdue … Produced eight tackles (6 solos), twice stopping tailback Javon Ringer behind the line of scrimmage vs. Michigan State … Collected three tackles and a stop for a loss vs. Michigan and picked off an Anthony Morelli pass that he returned 24 yards for a touch-down vs. Penn State … Credited with three assisted tackles and intercepted a Matt Flynn pass for a 23-yard return vs. Louisiana State in the BSC Championship Game.

2006 Season

Consensus first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection … Started all thirteen games at field cornerback, finishing fifth on the team with 55 tackles (40 solos), including a QB pressure and 4.5 stops for minus 11 yards … Caused a fumble and blocked a p[unt … Deflected four passes and intercepted four others for 99 yards in returns, including a touchdown … Part of a unit that ranked fifth in the nation in scoring defense (12.77 ppg), 12th in total defense (280.46 ypg) and tenth in pass efficiency defense (104.06 rating).

2006 Game Analysis

Tackled tailback Jamaal Charles for a 2-yard loss, made five tackles (4 solos) and broke up a pass vs. Texas … Had an interception and four tackles vs. Cincinnati, adding another four hits, as he returned an interception 61 yards for a touchdown in a 28-6 defeat of Penn State … Made nine tackles (6 solos) vs. Bowling Green and posted two solo stops with a 9-yard interception run back vs. Indiana … Gained 29 yards on an interception return vs. Minnesota and had five tackles, including two that resulted in lost yardage of 6 yards in the Illinois clash … Blocked a punt and was in on eight tackles (4 solos) vs. Northwestern … Credited with seven solo tackles vs. Michigan and had four hits (3 solos) with two stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Florida in the BCS Championship Game.

2005 Season

Played in ten games, starting three contests at nickel back vs. Miami (Oh.), Indiana and Notre Dame and thee more at boundary cornerback vs. Indiana, Minnesota and Illinois … Sat out the Northwestern and Michigan clashes with a knee sprain … Finished eighth on the team with 37 tackles (23 solos), as he deflected two passes and returned a kickoff 34 yards … .Had a season-high nine tackles vs. Notre Dame and was credited with seven stops at Minnesota, including four solo tackles.

Injury Report

2005: Sat out the Northwestern (11/12) and Michigan (11/19) games with a knee sprain.

Agility Tests

Campus: 4.55 in the 40-yard dash … 1.53 10-yard dash … 2.62 20-yard dash.

Combine: 4.51 in the 40-yard dash … 1.47 10-yard dash … 2.62 20-yard dash … 4.08 20-yard shuttle … 6.59 three-cone drill … 33-inch vertical jump … 10'4" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 15 times … 32 3/8-inch arm length … 9 1/8-inch hands.

High School

Attended Piscataway (N.J.) High School … Led his team to three consecutive state titles … The All-State and All-American choice played receiver and defensive back … Also excelled at track, winning the state title in the 400-meter dash as a junior … Took third place in the 200 meters as a junior and finished third in the hurdles as a senior at the state meet.


Communications major … Enjoys writing poetry … A leader in the Omega Psi Phi fraternity … Son of Gwendolyn and W. Lee Jenkins … Born 12/20/87 … Resides in Piscataway, New Jersey.


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