Vikings Draft Prospect: iOL Elgton Jenkins

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Jan 1, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins (74) blocks as Iowa Hawkeyes defensive end Chauncey Golston (57) rushes during the second half in the 2019 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Name: Elgton Jenkins Position: Interior Offensive Line School: Mississippi State Height: 6’4″ Weight: 313 Elgton Jenkins has been a mostly under-the-radar mid-round interior line prospect. However, thanks to an excellent week at the Senior Bowl, some have Jenkins climbing as high as round two. With his good size, athleticism and intelligence, it is easy to see why. C #74

Size and Strength

Jenkins is properly built for NFL interiors from top to bottom. On film, he looks a little shorter than his listed 6-foot-4, but even if he is a hair on the small side, it is not to a detrimental level. He has the necessary length to maintain separation when he needs to and adequate size to hold up against powerful SEC interior lines. From a strength perspective, Jenkins appears to play less strong than he is. He is not the most aggressive blocker, so he rarely blows defenders off the ball. However, his functional strength is more apparent when he gets inside leverage on defenders. He can generally manipulate his man when he gains inside positioning and typically holds up to all manner of power rusher.

Run Blocking

Jenkins should shine in the NFL when he can play in space. He is an exceptionally smart, aware player who moves to the second level at the right time with ease. When Jenkins is able to block on the move, like in zone schemes or in the screen game, he can dominate. As a straight up mano-a-mano blocker, he is a bit more come-and-go. He does not fire out of his stance with ideal aggression, and tends to come out high. As a result, he looks to receive blocks more than one would like in a run blocker. Jenkins has a strong grip, so he can control his man when he locks on, but he often approaches with wide hands, which could lead him susceptible to holding calls. That said, he uses his hands well to leverage his opponent, and is tough to shake once he engages. His overall push is adequate, but Jenkins is not a fiery blocker, per se. He is more the type to accomplish the block, rather than dominate it and finish it. He was a center much of his college career, so he spent much of his time against bigger noses in the SEC and held up well enough. But a good number of one-on-one blocks finish with Jenkins around the line of scrimmage. Again, scheme will aid him a lot at the next level. He has decent quickness and feet, so he could be a solid zone blocker.

Pass Blocking

As with his run blocking, Jenkins has some ideal traits to be an excellent interior pass protector. He has solid side-to-side mobility, decent length and extremely high IQ, which will serve him well against stunt- and blitz-heavy defenses. He can stonewall slower pass rushers when he maintains a strong base and good hand positioning, so long as he does not get too high. Jenkins can be a bit tall and “welcoming,” that is he can get caught receiving rather than doling out punches. Jenkins’ wide hands could be a problem, but he has shown to be able to slide with quicker interior rushers and ride them past the quarterback if need be. Against strong bull rushes, he can be knocked back, but often has adequate power and leverage to recover and hold his ground. Since he is more of a grabber than a puncher as a pass blocker, Jenkins has to be able to keep his hands locked inside. He does slide them outside from time to time, but his grip strength typically allows him to maintain leverage advantage. In cases like the clip below where the defender clears his hands, he can reset them in prime position to maintain control. Overall, Jenkins is pretty unorthodox with pass pro technique, but displays the necessary traits to be successful. He may require some development time to get really good in this area, but the tools are there. https://twitter.com/JReidNFL/status/1087881632680427523

Vikings Fit

Jenkins is going to need to fit into the right system to be a day one starter. The Vikings utilize zone and screens quite a bit, which would allow Jenkins to use his lateral quickness to its fullest potential. He has some position versatility, as he played up and down the line at Mississippi State. Chances are he would play guard with Minnesota with the center position taken. But given Pat Elflein‘s injury troubles, Jenkins’ center experience would be invaluable. He appears to be a mid-day two selection, and one with a solid upside as a starter on the interior.     –Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Vikings and Deputy Editor for Full Press NFL. Like and Follow @samc_smith.  Follow @fpc_vikings and Follow @fpc_nfl
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