The 2021 NFL Draft season is upon us and the first wave of free agency is now over. Now, scouts, coaches, and general managers will hit the road as all eyes will turn to the draft.
Among the 32 teams building their rosters to compete for the next Lombardi Trophy is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who hold 10 picks in this season’s draft -- including the No. 1 overall pick. The Jaguars are entering a new era under Head Coach Urban Meyer, and the 2021 draft will serve as a catalyst to the Jaguars’ rebuild moving into the future.
As we march closer and closer to April’s draft, we will look at individual draft prospects and how they would potentially fit with the Jaguars. Instead of looking at any negatives, we are going to look at what the players do well and if they could match what the Jaguars need at the specific role or position.
In this edition, we look at one of the most popular players mocked to the Jaguars this draft process in Oklahoma State offensive tackle Teven Jenkins. Should the Jaguars make Jenkins, an ascending prospect, a top target at No. 25 overall?
Jenkins was a three-star recruit out of high school earning offers from Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Louisville, Missouri and Nebraska. He committed to Oklahoma State as a member of the 2016 class and was just the country's No. 85 ranked offensive tackle prospect.
Jenkins turned his time at Oklahoma State into nearly 40 starts across the entire Oklahoma State offensive line. He ended his redshirt freshman season with three starts, including two at right guard, before starting 13 games in 2018. As a redshirt sophomore, Jenkins started 10 games at right tackle and three at left tackle, earning honorable mention All-Big 12.
Jenkins started 12 more games in 2019 and continued to elevate his game, but his best season game during a seven-game run in 2020. Jenkins finished his college tenure with 35 starts, including 26 at right tackle.
What Teven Jenkins Does Well
Teven Jenkins may not get pass protection done in the way of the cliched dancing bear offensive tackle with light feet -- though he doesn't lack in athleticism. But while he doesn't have the skill set of a lineman who is adept at mirroring speed rushers consistently, he is a potent pass protector thanks to his ability to block through the whistle and shut down pass rushers with his hands. There may not be a more physical and powerful lineman in this class than Jenkins, which says a lot considering the amount of talent and rare athletes in this year's tackle class.
Jenkins is violent with his strikes in pass protection, stopping the momentum of even the strongest defensive linemen. He plays with good extension despite limited length and keeps defenders out of his frame, always fighting with his hands to either maintain position or force movement. He may not win by mirroring, but he will take the fight to the defensive line and ensure they do not get into his own frame. When he gets his hands into a defender's pads, the battle was more often than not over.
Jenkins is a perfect example of pass protection not always being passive or a game of finesse. He ends a lot of pass blocking reps by throwing edge defenders to the ground or on top of them. As a pass blocker, Jenkins also shows terrific awareness explodes out of his stance. His pass sets may not always be the most fluid looking, but he is a much better athlete in space than given credit for. He gets to the edge quickly and shows good recognition for stunts, blitzes, and inside moves.
Where Jenkins can truly shine in the NFL is as a run blocker. He is a true mauler, lifting defensive ends and defensive tackles off the ground and generating movement with ease thanks to his brute strength and explosion. He is able to redirect defenders and has the athleticism to excel in space on screens and at the second level. He is quick to come off double teams and move onto his next targets and his ability to anticipate defenders in space is top-notch.
Jenkins' top trait is of course his ability to finish blocks. Much like he does as a pass blocker, Jenkins will finish a lot of running plays by taking his assignment completely out of the equation, caving defenders in with his dominating blend of size, strength, and aggressiveness. His pancake blocks are a legitimate highlight reel.
How Tevin Jenkins Would Fit With the Jaguars
There may not be a lineman who makes more sense for the Jaguars this year than Jenkins. There are a number of first-round offensive linemen with the profiles to play both inside and outside, but Jenkins is the only one who has both a shot to be there at No. 25 and the long-term ceiling to be an answer at offensive tackle.
The Jaguars franchise tagged Cam Robinson earlier this offseason, but as of right now the only year Robinson is guaranteed to be the team's left tackle is in 2021. The Jaguars very well could need a new left tackle in 2021, and taking a prospect like Jenkins who can wait a year to grow into the position could be a more favorable outcome than relying on a rookie in 2022.
Meanwhile, Jenkins can play other positions as a rookie. He could challenge Jawaan Taylor for snaps at right tackle while also giving the Jaguars flexibility to move him inside. He started two games at guard for Oklahoma State and has the type of skill set that projects well to playing inside, so he could either compete with A.J. Cann in 2021 or give the Jaguars a long-term answer at either guard position in 2022 in the event Robinson impresses in 2021.
Overall, Jenkins is an extremely tough, physical, athletic, and experienced offensive tackle prospect who has guard flexibility. He may not get things done in the most traditional of ways, but he has a legitimate Pro Bowl ceiling and his floor is rather high as well. He is a starting lineman at a number of spots.
Nobody can blame the Jaguars if they want to take an offensive lineman at No. 25, even if they appear to have their current line set. The Jaguars are in the process of building a future, not just building for the 2021 season. And as of right now, the future of the offensive line is murky.
With so many questions at each offensive line spot past 2021, it is reasonable to project Jenkins to be a Jaguars target if he makes it to No. 25. He fits Jaguars offensive line coach George Warhop's type at offensive tackle and is one of the more talented players in the class, even if he wins reps in a non-traditional way.
For all of our 2021 NFL Draft profiles, click below.
- Trevor Lawrence
- Christian Barmore
- Kyle Pitts
- Trevon Moehrig
- Jaycee Horn
- Kadarius Toney
- Richie Grant
- Pat Freiermuth
- Samuel Cosmi
- Jaylen Mayfield
- Rondale Moore
- Brevin Jordan
- Jaelen Phillips
- Creed Humphrey
- Tommy Tremble
- Elijah Moore
- Azeez Ojulari