Ryan had a piece up yesterday saying that the Rams really like AJ Jenkins from the University of Illinois. Tony Pauline said if AJ Jenkins is available in the third round, the Rams are likely to pick him.
So you want to know more about this potential Rams draft pick? You have come to the right place. I'm currently a freshmen at the University of Illinois and I've watched every snap of AJ Jenkins career as an Illini.
Jenkins is a guy who was largely ignored - like many Illini players - until recently. Many are discovering his talents, and his stock has been shooting up the draft boards lately and for good reason. He isn't that far off from the first round prospects talent wise, but he would be a much better value in later draft rounds.
Scouting report after the jump.
First off some highlight videos.
From his best game last season, but keep in mind it's against Northwestern. Ha ha...shitty Northwestern.
Here's another against Purdue. Even with the horrible QB play, Jenkins still had a decent game.
Speed: AJ Jenkins isn't the fastest guy on the field. He isn't a classic burner as he doesn't have that final third gear, but he does have very good speed. He ran a 4.39 at the combine, but more importantly, he is consistently able to go over the top of the defense, something none of the current Rams WRs can do.
Hands: Jenkins has fantasic hands. He's can made amazing circus catches with ease. At times, he didn't properly focus on catching the ball and instead was trying to look for potential tacklers. This did lead to some drops, but for the most part he is solid in this area.
Route Running: AJ is a very smooth route runner. He has great athleticism and can run every route well, but he still needs some improvements. He would telegraph his routes at times by leaning too early, but that can be fixed with coaching.
Savvy: Jenkins showed a great knack for finding the soft spots in zone coverage. He has a great feel for zone coverages and he is able to find a spot so that the QB could get the ball to him.
YAC: AJ is a very good athlete. He is strong for his size, and he can be very elusive. This won't be a major part of his game in the NFL, but he will make guys miss and add yards to passing plays.
Size: 6' 190lbs isn't exactly the size teams look for in WRs. He isn't small, but he isn't big. He could struggle getting off of press coverage in the NFL. When teams decided to press him in college, he did seem to struggle adjusting early in the game. As the game progressed, he started to get used to being pressed.
Consistency: Jenkins never became a big playmaker until his senior year at Illinois. At times, he did clash with head coach Ron Zook, but who wouldn't? Zook is a horrible coach! Also, during his junior year he was lazy at times on the field and never seemed to be fully committed. His play suffered at times because of this. He seemed destined to be a guy who had great talent, but couldn't put it all together. All that changed his senior year. He became very consistent on the field, but he does have a one year wonder tag. Not having consistent production with the Illini could be concerning to some teams.
AJ Jenkins is a prospect who has no elite strengths, but no major weaknesses. His all-around game is his major strength. He was a terrific downfield threat in college and that will likely hold true in the NFL. He is a major sleeper pick in the 2012 draft. He could be an instant impact player if put in the right system. His stock right now is mid to late 2nd, but I could see him going in the early second or the early third.