Photo of Mike Jenkins
  • 4.38 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 6'0" Height
  • 200LBS. Weight


Regarded as one of the nation's premier shutdown pass defenders, Jenkins teamed with Trae Williams to give the Bulls an outstanding cornerback combination.

Along with free safety Nate Allen and strong safety Carlton Williams, South Florida's secondary combined for 131 starts at USF.

The Bulls ranked eighth in the nation in passing efficiency defense (105.27 rating) in 2007 after ranking 11th nationally in 2006 (104.26) and 16th (109.38) in 2005, thanks largely to the performance of their right cornerback. Jenkins improved his draft stock, showing professional scouts that his blazing speed could also be used as a kickoff returner. On the first kickoff return for 2007, he set a school record with a 100-yard touchdown return vs. Cincinnati.

Jenkins was a standout safety at Bradenton Southeast High School, earning Super Prep All-American honors. He was rated the 27th player in Florida by the Orlando Sentinel's Bill Buchalter, and he was named first-team All-Gridiron by Sean Alveshire (, who picks the top players in the state regardless of their school's classification.

The first-team Class 3A All-State choice, Jenkins was selected by the Sarasota Herald Tribune as its Defensive Player of the Year. He was the District Player of the Year in 2002 after he recorded 42 tackles, two interceptions, one caused fumble, one fumble recovery, two blocked punts and two blocked field goals. He also played running back and led the team with 859 yards and 11 touchdowns that year.

Jenkins was heavily recruited by Florida, Florida State and Louisiana State, but decided to enroll at South Florida in 2004. He started three of the team's first four games at left cornerback, including the season opener vs. Tennessee Tech, but an ankle sprain forced him to sit out vs. Army and kept him from returning to the starting lineup for the rest of the year. He finished his first season with 27 tackles (19 solo), two forced fumbles and nine pass deflections. He also blocked a punt that he returned four yards.

In 2005, Jenkins shifted to right cornerback, starting all 12 games. He earned All-Big East Conference second-team honors, as he produced 38 tackles (33 solo) with a stop for a loss and two forced fumbles. He returned a punt 27 yards, intercepted two passes and broke up five others.

Jenkins had a sub-par junior campaign, starting the first 12 games at right cornerback, but played as a reserve vs. East Carolina in the Bowl. He made just 27 tackles (18 solo) with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception. He batted away fifteen passes and gained 27 yards on two kickoff returns.

During 2007 spring camp, Jenkins was arrested for misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence after a fight erupted outside a bar he was attending a party for former USF linebacker Stephen Nicholas. Despite not being violent, police used a taser Jenkins and he was briefly suspended from the team.

He returned for fall camp, reclaiming his right cornerback spot, and went on to earn All-American and All-Big East Conference first-team honors. He recorded a career-high 41 tackles (31 solo) with four stops for losses. He intercepted three passes, deflected 12 others and averaged 30.4 yards on seven kickoff returns, including one touchdown.

In 48 games at South Florida, Jenkins started 40 contests, including 37 at right cornerback. He registered 133 tackles (101 solo) with six stops for losses of 26 yards and one quarterback pressure. He caused five fumbles and recovered another. He also broke up 41 passes and had six interceptions for 41 yards in returns. He gained 240 yards with a score on nine kickoff returns (26.7-yard average) and 31 yards on two punt returns, as he also blocked one kick.



Positives: Has a well-built frame with good upper-body muscle tone, tight waist and hips and good lower-body thickness...His best asset is his press coverage skill, as he has had good success in impeding the receiver's route progression...Hard worker in the training room and on the practice field, as he is more of a quiet leader-by-example type, but spends lots of his time mentoring the younger players and is a potential coaching candidate in the future...With his press ability and speed closing on plays in front of him, he could bring more value as a free safety (has Brian Dawkins-type qualities), as he does have experience at that position from his high school days and as a freshman at USF...Times his leaps well and has that long reach to get over and around the receiver to deflect the pass when in the trail position (does get a bit reckless, leading to pass interference calls)...Has adequate balance and body control going after off-target tosses...Is a little tight in his hips, but he has that explosive second gear to recover and the leaping ability to battle the taller receivers in jump-ball situations...Good special-teams performer who shows patience letting his protection set up and the burst through the seams to take the ball long distances...Is sometimes late to turn on the ball, but he has the quick feet and exceptional burst to recover...Lock-down cornerback who can generate strong hand swipes in attempts to reroute...Even with his hip stiffness, he has good acceleration and turnover on his breaks and, when he keeps good position on his man, he does a good job taking angles to cut off the play...Gets high on his heels in his backpedal, but does not stay in it for long...Not the quickest at recognizing routes, but when he does, he shows good urgency to close (much better awareness vs. plays in front of him)...It doesn't always translate on the field, but he does have the timed speed to make plays at the opposite end of the field...When he gets into proper position, he can defend vs. the pass, as he gets very good elevation to reach and deflect the throw at its highest point...Likes to tackle to the side rather than squaring up, but he has the functional strength to impact vs. smaller opponents. Negatives: Needs to show better anticipation skills, as he does a good job of handling the receiver but eyes the backfield too long and bites on misdirection and pump fakes...Has very good timed speed, but needs to generate looser hips, as he looks tight in that region when trying to transition...Has just adequate change-of-direction agility and does not always explode out of his turns to get on the hip and mirror the receiver...Might be a better fit for free safety, due to his good closing burst vs. plays in front of him. His adequate athletic ability makes him appear a bit slow when trying to break on the ball in flight...Lacks natural hands and good arm extension to pluck the ball at its highest point, as he had more than a few pass deflections that should be interceptions...Shows some hesitation breaking on the ball and lacks that natural feel to get a good break on the ball and anticipate routes...His best asset is his ability to press and reroute the receivers at the line, but as aggressive as he is with the pass catcher, he does not like coming up in run support, preferring that others make the tackle in tight areas...Must improve his upper-body strength, as he lacks pop on contact and is not really a solid wrap-up tackler (more of a collision-type tackler and ballcarriers can escape when he takes a side...Tends to sit back and wait for the play to come to him rather than get in an opponent's face and initiate contact...Must learn to keep his pad level down more often, as he gets too erect in his backpedal and when his base narrows, he fails to get a clean break out of transition...Has to develop a better feel for the ball in flight, as it is rare to see him jump many patterns...Has the second gear to recover when beaten, but if he would open his hips quicker, receivers won't be able to gobble up his cushion as much as they do...Has to develop better hand placement, as he has run into trouble with pass interference penalties (had a string of at least one penalty in five of six midseason games in 2007)...Has the functional strength to get the ballcarrier down, but must show more aggression and force behind his tackles... Has a bit of a hop in his footwork that needs to be corrected...Perhaps due to adequate ball recognition skills, he doesn't take good angles to close in run support and must keep his hands inside his frame or he struggles to shed blocks when asked to plug the rush lanes...Has one off-field issue, but the coaching staff vouches for his good character and work ethic...Considering his senior season was not a dominant one, he made what might be a costly decision by refusing to attend the Senior Bowl at the last moment. Compares To: CARLOS ROGERS-Washington...Like Rogers, there is no questioning Jenkins' speed -- he can stay with any receiver on deep routes. However, like Rogers, he is not a good tackler and tends to shy away from lending run support. Jenkins has some hip stiffness that is evident in transition and marginal hands to make the interception. He will bite on pump fakes and doesn't have great ball anticipation skills. He might be a better fit at free safety, as his best assets are his quickness, making plays in front of him and generating a good press. Quite a few publications list him as the best cornerback prospect for the 2008 NFL Draft. If he is indeed the best, NFL receivers could be salivating. He is a fine athlete, but isn't ready to star at the next level.
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.