As first-round pick Ryan Kerrigan endures limited workouts because of a lingering bone bruise in his knee, second-round draft choice Jarvis Jenkins has become one of the most impressive performers in camp.
“I like him,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said. “He’s quite impressive. At 320 pounds, he can play the run and he can play the pass. He’s got a big upside. You can tell he likes to work. All the things that you look for in a guy, I believe he has.”
Jenkins – listed at 6-foot-4 and 309 pounds on the official roster – has consistently overpowered offensive linemen in one-on-one drills. Until Wednesday, he played exclusively at right defensive end, a position manned last year by Kedric Golston, a free agent who the Redskins re-signed Wednesday.
During 11-on-11 drills Wednesday, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett gave Jenkins some time at left defensive end, where veteran Adam Carriker is the projected starter. Haslett said Jenkins could see time on both sides, another of the tasks Jenkins – who played largely in a four-man line at Clemson -- must learn as he transitions to the 3-4.
“To me, it’s more technique-work for him--a guy that hasn’t played the position doing something new,” Haslett said. “Assignment-wise, I think he has most of it down pretty well even with the short time [with no offseason workouts]. We’re not going to ask him to do a lot. But technique-wise, there’s just stuff he’s got to keep working on and making sure he keeps cleaned-up and getting better and better at it. He’s a big, strong, powerful kid.”
Jenkins said he has been forced to make several adjustments. At Clemson, for instance, he could peek into the backfield to get clues as to how he should attack. In the Redskins’ scheme, he reads only the man in front of him.
And he agreed with Haslett that his technique must improve.
“The game speed is kind of different,” he said. “It was different at first, but I’m kind of catching onto it after the second day. But right now, I just got to rely more on my technical standpoint and just keep getting better at my position.”
Jenkins will face more competition for playing snaps when free agent signee Stephen Bowen, the projected starter at right end, begins practice Thursday.