Jacksonville Jaguars solid safety Rayshawn Jenkins is good and bad. Let me explain.
Jenkins is not an exceptional football player, at least by NFL standards. He ranked 26th out of 43 safeties in Sports Info Solution’s total points metric and 53rd out of 64 players in the Pro Football Focus defense category last year.
Number 2 isn’t the greatest deep-coverage defender.
Jenkins showed great hustle against the Colts in Week 2, but that hustle was also used against him in the biggest play of the Indianapolis game.
Jenkins was the first domino to fall in the Trent Baalke-era free agency frenzy in Jacksonville. The former Charger signed a four-year, $35 million deal in March 2021, making him one of the highest-paid players in his position at the time.
However, with no guaranteed salary remaining on his contract after 2022, and given his average play on the pitch, Jenkins is a potential candidate for the upcoming offseason. It would be difficult to release a starter, but signing local players like James Robinson and Josh Allen should take priority.
With additional talent and a new coach, Jenkins has already matched his number of passes defended and quarterback hits from a season ago. That interception during Jacksonville’s first defensive practice against the Colts was his first since 2020.
Jenkins plotted the deep ball in Dulin, but he played with his hair on fire throughout the fourth quarter to secure the shutout for Jacksonville.
Everything I’ve written so far has been things I’ve seen on one screen and then put on another, for you to see on your own screen.
Jenkins’ greatest advantage to the team isn’t shown by the numbers or the film, but by the “C” embroidered on his chest. He was team captain each of the two years he donned the teal despite playing for two different coaching teams. In other words, he’s great value for the locker room.
Here you can see him running to get a rolling chain for the sophomore and his starting safety teammate Andre Cisco after his fourth quarter interception.
As previously mentioned, Jenkins was the first free agent to receive a sack from Baalke. He was also the first of many players clearly targeted for what they bring to the team behind the scenes.
He raised high expectations with his payday, but now that he and the rest of the roster have 2021 offseason reinforcements, Jenkins shines in his role. The Baalke-Pederson partnership is off to a promising start.