Jenkins, who had said earlier this week that he “heard as high as late in the first round and as low as early in the fourth round,” about his potential draft stock, was the 104th overall pick and the seventh pick of the fourth round.
“It’s a dream come true,” Jenkins said in a telephone interview shortly after being selected. “It was just suspenseful. The biggest thing wasn’t when, but where … they got a great team coming back. Great coaches.”
Jenkins became the fourth defensive player drafted by Miami, which has aimed at stockpiling talent on a defense that finished 21st in the NFL in total defense last year. The Dolphins selected Oregon outside linebacker Dion Jordan with the third overall pick in the first round, followed by cornerbacks Jamar Taylor (Boise State) and Will Davis (Utah State) in the second round and third rounds, respectively.
He cited a “cool” relationship with Miami’s linebacker coach, George Edwards, who will be entering his second-year on head coach Joe Philbin’s staff.
The 6-foot, 237-pound Jenkins declared for the draft following his junior season at Florida. He started in 31 games in his career with the Gators, posting 182 tackles and 16.5 tackles for loss.
After a senior season in which he missed three games due to a broken thumb, and later the Sugar Bowl due to a broken foot, Jenkins impressed at the NFL Combine in February, running a 4.78 in the 40-yard dash and did 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
The 2008 All-Met Player of the Year, the former Good Counsel linebacker and track star was heavily recruited out of the Olney school. He was multidimensional on the football field for Falcons Coach Bob Milloy, posting 101 tackles and 644 yards with 22 touchdowns as fullback his senior year.
Jenkins said he will most likely depart for Miami on Thursday to start getting settled, he said.
“A lot of weight lifted off everyone’s shoulders,” Jenkins said of being drafted early in the day Saturday. “I’ve been waiting since Thursday. I’m very excited.”
More draft coverage from The Post:
The Early Lead: Smith goes to Jets, has Sanchez in his sights
The Early Lead: Te’o goes to Chargers in Round 2
The Early Lead: Honey Badger says Patrick Paterson helped him get to Arizona