Malcolm Jenkins CB, Ohio State
The Saints enter the 2009 draft with a clear need on the defensive side of the ball. Their offense, much like the Cardinals, was prolific in 2008 but the defense was anything but spectacular. They ranked in the bottom half of the league in most defensive categories and started the free agency period by cutting one of their starting corner backs (Mike McKenzie). They've since signed a couple of free agents in the secondary, Jabari Greer and Darren Sharper, but they still need the best defensive player on the board. Jenkins entered the 2008 season as the top rated corner back in the nation and he didn't do anything on the field to hurt his ranking. He finished his senior season with a third consecutive All-Big Ten Team, his second consecutive All-American selection and his first Thorpe Award, but slow times at the combine confirmed many peoples opinion that he's better suited to play safety.
Positives: Jenkins has terrific size and bulk and he can be a serious force at the line of scrimmage jamming receivers. He's physical with recievers and has the toughness and ability to support the run. Making big plays is his specialty thanks to his hands, excellent leaping ability and ability to track the ball while in flight. He essentially shut down half of the field while at Ohio State and was moved to free safety at times to help create more big plays.
Negatives: The obvious weakness is his lack of elite speed (4.54 forty) and that's why most scouts now think that he'll be moved to safety. He can get over aggressive at times when trying to make a play and he'll dip his head when trying to deliver a big hit. Some are also worried how he'll handle being challenged early in his NFL career after rarely being challenged for the past couple of seasons.
Overall: Jenkins' eventful home is most likely at safety but early in his career he could fill a couple of different needs for a defense with multiple needs. He could, much like Antrell Rolle, switch back and forth between corner or safety depending on the alignments. Wherever he plays, he's got the talent and experience to make a difference for a defense that really lacks play makers.
Many thanks to our very own Boogatt66 for submitting this pick. The Texans and Red Reign are now on the clock (e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org), with the Chargers and LACardsfan on deck. If anyone needs to refresh their memory on the draft order, check it here....