Jelani Jenkins sees himself fitting in at WLB with Raiders
Oakland Raiders linebacker Jelani Jenkins is in line to replace Malcolm Smith on the weak side.
Jelani Jenkins knows where he fits best, and with the Oakland Raiders he sees himself taking over Malcolm Smith's old role.
While speaking to the media for the first time since signing his contract with the Raiders, the former Miami Dolphins linebacker explained why his best fit is on the weak side.
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"Primarily, I've been the weak-side linebacker my whole career and also in the sub package," Jenkins explained, per Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Jenkins, 25, said it will take some time to find out exactly where the Raiders want him.
"I have to talk to coach for exactly where they see me, but I'm pretty sure if I compare it, my size and abilities to Malcolm Smith, that's probably where they are imagining me playing at," he said. "It's something I'll have to see when I sit down with them."
Here's a quick size comparison between Jenkins and Smith:
|Jelani Jenkins||6-0||240 lbs.|
|Malcolm Smith||6-0||225 lbs.|
Jenkins is slightly thicker, perhaps making him a bit stouter against the run. That extra weight he carries may affect his mobility in pass coverage, though.
If he is anything like Smith, Jenkins will leave the Raiders wanting more. While Smith racked up over 100 tackles each of the past two seasons, he was often overmatched from a physical standpoint and struggled to make a consistent impact.
At least Smith was able to stay relatively healthy, missing only one game during his time spent with the Raiders. Jenkins, on the other hand, has been banged up in recent years and has missed a total of 10 games over the past two seasons. Just because Jenkins is younger than Smith doesn't mean he's more durable.
With Jenkins in line to start on the weak side, the Raiders still need to address the middle linebacker position. Perry Riley Jr., who started there last season, remains unsigned on the open market.
Follow Kevin Boilard on Twitter: @247KevinBoilard
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