In the third edition of the Arizona Cardinals Power Five conference prospect profiles, we take a look at five prospects from the SEC conference.
A conference that most consider to be the premier group of college football, the SEC is once again sending a boat-load of top-notch talents to the NFL. Although Alabama didn’t win it all in 2018, they still have a player that could easily be the Arizona Cardinals No. 1 pick. Or they have some talent that could be big-time in later rounds.
Elgton Jenkins – IOL, Mississippi State
The massive 6-foot-4, 310-pound Elgton Jenkins from Mississippi State would be a nice pickup for the Arizona Cardinals. He’s played in a line that values versatility, but he’s probably best set at center in the NFL. He finished the 2018 season with a Pro Football Focus final rating of 77.6 and ranked within the top 20 in every category in all of PFF’s advanced statistics for interior linemen.
Jenkins is an excellent anchor in pass sets and has an outstanding ‘death’ grip when he gets a hold of defenders. He also does an excellent job of calling out blitzes and knows his role within his respective offensive scheme. It also helps that he rarely over-extends and has good balance. In 2,669 snaps, he allowed just three sacks, four quarterback hits, and 25 quarterback hurries, per PFF.
In run-blocking, that same ‘death’ grip Elgton possesses make him a threat moving down the field. He creates space for his running backs by using powerful pushes to get his opponents out of gaps. Jenkins has an uncanny ability to get to the second-level, linebackers and blitzing safeties will rarely have the advantage while trying to block-shed him.
But Jenkins is frustrating. His feet sometimes tend to get caught up within each other when blocking in space, and he also has a history of too many missed snaps. His athleticism isn’t also very inspiring either, as he had a mediocre combine performance.
Final verdict: Jenkins could benefit from a pretty shallow interior offensive line class as he has a case to go in the first, but, his often frustrating play may help him fall even to the top of the third. If he’s there, the Cardinals should pick him up and instantly upgrade their future outlook at center.