Did OSU’s Malcolm Jenkins cost himself the top 10 at the combine?

Ohio State cornerback Malcolm Jenkins, who many scouts feel is the best defensive back in the draft, might have cost himself an opportunity to be a top 10 pick after a poor showing at this year’s scouting combine.

Malcolm JenkinsJenkins, mentioned as a possible selection of the Browns at No. 5, ran unofficial times of between 4.53 and 4.58 at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium. He also dropped some passes in the ball drills, prompting Deion Sanders of the NFL Network to proclaim that Jenkins and a couple of the other DBs were “killing themselves.”

“His value will be affected by his time, like it or not,” said Mayock. “But there’s a lot of good tape on him and a lot of Cover 2 teams are going to love him at corner.”
Or perhaps at another position.

“Some people think day one he’s a Pro Bowl free safety,” said Mayock. “He’s got the size and the strength and the physicality to play the position.”

Most of the analysts were more concerned about Jenkins’ shaky performance in the ball drills.
“He kind of followed up [the 40 time] with an average at best — and probably not even average — performance for his skill-set,” said Mayock.

I watched the combine yesterday on the NFL Network and Jenkins’ performance was as bad as the article suggests. He’s a good player and he had a tremendous collegiate career at Ohio State. The combine doesn’t mean everything, but it’s hard to shake off a bad 40-time when you’re a corner – especially when you’re projected to go in the top 10. Most safeties run n the mid 4.5’s, so this isn’t good for Jenkins’ draft stock.

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Top 32 NFL Draft Prospects

Pete Prisco of CBSSportsline.com ranked the top 32 prospects in this year’s NFL draft.

Here are his top 10:

1. Matt Stafford, QB, Georgia: When he throws for the scouts, they will be in awe. There are some who think he locks on to receivers at times. But that can happen to young passers with big arms.

2. Aaron Curry, LB, Wake Forest: Think Derrick Brooks. He’s a run-and-chase linebacker who has good size at 240 pounds. He might be the cleanest player in the draft, the one with the fewest flaws.

3. B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College: He’s a power player who could not be blocked at the Senior Bowl. At 335 pounds, he also has good quickness.

4. Jason Smith, T, Baylor: This former tight end has great feet and plays with a nasty streak. He is 6-4, 300 pounds and has the frame to get bigger. He’s a better pass blocker, but will get better for the run as he matures.

5. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech: He is the next Larry Fitzgerald. He’s big and strong. The once concern with him is his 40 time. But Fitzgerald wasn’t fast either.

6. Eugene Monroe, T, Virginia: He’s another tackle who is better as a pass protector than blocking for the run. Is that a bad thing?

7. Andre Smith, T, Alabama: He played left tackle at Alabama, but some scouts wonder if he’s not more of a right tackle. He’s the best run blocker of the three top tackles, but he has struggled with some speed rushers.

8. Mark Sanchez, QB, USC: He’s accurate, poised and his arm is plenty strong. The knock on him will be that he was a one-hit wonder. Don’t believe it.

9. Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State: He’s a smart cover player who might not have blazing speed, but he plays fast enough. He’s easily the top corner in this draft.

10. Everette Brown, LB-DE, Florida State: Think Dwight Freeney. He’s short at 6-1 but has a great burst off the edge. He might even rise up this board as we go through the process.

Everyone is going to have varying opinions on which prospect is better than the next (everyone is an expert this time of year), but I think that’s a pretty solid top 10. I don’t think Sanchez is a top 10 prospect, but that’s just me. For the amount of talent USC had this year, he certainly didn’t dominant and I think he’s a raw prospect in that he’ll need a couple years to develop.

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Don Banks’ Mock Draft 1.0

Don Banks of SI.com takes his first crack at predicting the first round of April’s NFL draft.

Here’s a look at his top 5:

1. Lions: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama
Sure, it’d be a sexier No. 1 pick if I went with Georgia junior quarterback Matthew Stafford, but I’m not yet at the point where I can see the winless Lions taking anything that resembles a risky pick with the very first selection of the Jim Schwartz era. Plenty of questions remain about Stafford’s readiness to play quickly in the NFL, and my early read is the Lions will play it safe and start rebuilding their roster from the lines out. Smith, Virginia’s Eugene Monroe and Mississippi’s Michael Oher are all in the discussion when it comes to divining the top-rated offensive tackle.

2. Rams: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia
The Rams missed out on offensive tackle Jake Long with the No. 2 pick in last year’s draft, but they’re assured of coming away with one of the upper tier tackles this time around. St. Louis needs an heir apparent for Orlando Pace, whose body has started to betray him in recent years. Monroe’s game might not be as highly regarded as Smith’s or Oher’s, but he’s a cleaner pick who comes with fewer question marks regarding his character, maturity and size.

3. Chiefs: Mathew Stafford, QB, Georgia
Screaming in my head as I make this pick is the reality that taking a first-round quarterback is not exactly the Scott Pioli way (see Brady, Tom, and Cassel, Matt). But the Chiefs quarterback situation has been a nightmare since Len Dawson or so, and that might make for a scenario in which Pioli makes an exception. With Tyler Thigpen playing serviceably last season, the Chiefs could afford to give Stafford the year or so of development that everybody seems to think he needs. Then again, finding another quality offensive tackle to pair with Branden Albert is much more Pioli-like.

4. Seahawks: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
This could be a pick that doesn’t change between now and April 25’s first round. In the perfect marriage of need and draft slot, the receiver-starved Seahawks should find Crabtree waiting. All you need to know at the moment is that Crabtree has conjured up comparisons to Cardinals all-world receiver Larry Fitzgerald with his blend of size, hands, athleticism and ability to make yards after the catch.

5. Browns: Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State
Eric Mangini’s Browns (still getting used to that) could go a lot of different ways in the five spot, but it’s going to be a defensive pick. The home-state hero Jenkins would give Cleveland’s shaky cornerback situation an infusion of talent, but you can make a strong case for help in the pass rush (DE/LB Brian Orakpo of Texas) or maybe at linebacker (USC’s Rey Maualuga).

Anyone else find it ironic that the year the Lions are picking No. 1, the best player in the draft is a wide receiver? (I’m referring to Crabtree, of course.)

Speaking of the Lions, the big questions surrounding their draft is whether or not they’ll pull the trigger on a quarterback like Stafford in the first round. With the success of rookie signal callers Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, it’s going to be tempting for new GM Martin Mayhew to want to get a franchise quarterback with his first pick. But Banks has the right idea in building from the inside out and taking an offensive lineman like Andre Smith might be the best route for Detroit to take.

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