He’s a big cornerback who can play physical, press coverage and makes sure tackles close to the line of scrimmage.
He can run fast enough to keep up with a fleet-footed receiver. His 11 career interceptions – two returned for touchdowns — and 17 pass deflections show his good ball skills.
And by all appearances he’s a good citizen, a necessity for Seattle president and general manager Tim Ruskell to put you on his squad.
So what’s not to like about Ohio State cornerback Malcom Jenkins? Not much, particularly after you watch his highlight video. The talented corner will likely be available if Seattle holds onto its No. 4 overall pick, and the ability to draft a lock-down corner to pair with Marcus Trufant may prove too tough to pass up.
In particular, Jenkins could prove invaluable if the Seahawks choose to move to more of a cover-2 base scheme defensively, which requires cornerbacks to be physical at the line of scrimmage and make plays in the running game. That type of coverage might better suit Seattle’s talented linebacker trio, allowing Lofa Tatupu, Julian Peterson and Leroy Hill to use their speed to make plays all over the field.
Jenkins, at 6-foot, 205, would seem to fit in nicely with that scheme. And with Seattle facing Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin twice a year, they’re going to need as many quality corners as they can get to match up with the talented wide receivers Arizona has.
The only question about Jenkins is his top-end speed. He reportedly has ran a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash at Ohio State. If he can duplicate that feat at the NFL Combine in February, he’ll solidify a spot in the top 10 of this year’s draft.
However, Seattle may believe that Josh Wilson played well enough during the 2008 season to merit giving him the starting nod next season. Guys like Ronde Barber and Donnie Abrams, both around 5-10, have been successful playing in the cover-2 scheme for Tampa Bay because of the physical way they play and their excellent balls skills. So Wilson could have success playing in a similar role.
While he has room for improvement, I think his skill set compares to another former NFL cornerback now in the Hall of Fame – former Washington defensive back Darrell Green.