Things are heating up across the NFL, as it looks like the players and league are making some real progress. We won't have any preseason games this year, and it was just announced on Wednesday afternoon that all fans will be required to wear masks if/when they attend football games. We continue our countdown of the Top 25 New Orleans Saints of 2020, focusing on a bolstering presence in their secondary. But first, here's where we've been up to this point.
- No. 25, Latavius Murray
- No. 24, Taysom Hill
- No. 23, C.J. Gardner-Johnson
- No. 22, Malcom Brown
- No. 21, Marcus Williams
- No. 20, Deonte Harris
- No. 19, Andrus Peat
- No. 18, Cesar Ruiz
No. 17 - Janoris Jenkins
Janoris Jenkins ended up falling into the Saints' lap in early December. Jenkins was frustrated by the way the Giants were using him, and he was eventually cut by the team after using a slur on social media when interacting with a fan, and later apologized for the tweet. Before that, Jenkins was a pretty strong presence in the Giants secondary from 2016-2019 after coming over from the Rams.
Overall, Jenkins graded out better in 2019 than he did in his previous two seasons, improving to 70.7 overall (30 out of 115 cornerbacks). He earned stellar grades in his main two Saints games against the Panthers (89.4) and Vikings (74.3), closing out the year with 140 snaps in both contests. Although it was a limited sample size, Jenkins was rewarded by New Orleans.
Jenkins' Outlook in 2020
The Saints re-worked Janoris Jenkins' deal in late March, giving him a two-year extension worth $16.75 million. He will be the Saints' No. 2 corner option behind Marshon Lattimore this season, and the expectations are high for him. In that game against the Vikings, he posted 8 total tackles, a quarterback hit, a half sack, and forced fumble on Adam Thielen on Minnesota's first drive of the game.
All things considered, Eli Apple was a good upgrade and tandem alongside Lattimore after coming over from the Giants. While the Saints eventually moved on from Apple, Jenkins certainly has more consistency to his game with a better track record. It's been a long time since New Orleans had such a stellar combination at cornerback, and when you factor in other key pieces like C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Marcus Williams, and Malcolm Jenkins, this is a pretty strong secondary with scary potential.