The Las Vegas Raiders find themselves with a need at right tackle, so why not draft Oklahoma’s Teven Jenkins to plug that hole?
If you’re keeping score, the Raiders’ new-look offensive line will look something like this; left tackle Kolton Miller, 38-year-old left guard Richie Incognito, center Andre James, and at either right tackle or right guard, Denzelle Good. Las Vegas goes from a top 10 offensive line to who knows what in 2021. This leaves a big void on the right side of the line, do the Raiders draft a right tackle/guard at 17 or the best player available regardless of position? They’ve already signed every defensive lineman available in free agency.
Teven Jenkins, the six-foot-six, 320-pound right tackle from Oklahoma State might answer that question. Bruiser, mauler, back-alley brawler are just a few of the adjectives to describe Jenkins and his playing style. The Oklahoma State product is an Incognito clone in a bigger, younger, and more athletic body.
The Raiders could use all the physicality and toughness they can muster on both sides of the line of scrimmage. However, he’s not without his detractors from scouts and draft analysts alike. Some say Jenkins doesn’t possess the elite athleticism necessary to play tackle at the NFL level nor does he have the length, meaning arm length to keep edge rushers at bay. Some say Jenkins is better off playing right guard where he can use his explosive power and short-area quickness to dominate interior rushers. Watch the tape, you decide.
The Raiders should pay attention To Teven Jenkins’ run defense
Watching Jenkins run block is more fun and exciting than watching that four-hour Zack Snyder “Justice League” movie. At 6’6”, Jenkins shows great pad level as he stays low out of his stance and is able to get under defenders using his leg drive and power to drive defenders 20 yards down the field.
Jenkins uses an incredible first strike punch and grip strength to latch onto defenders and never let go. He plays through the whistle, and sometimes a little after to completely humiliate his counterpart. He’ can also pull, slide across the line of scrimmage and get to the second level with ease for a man that size. Everything Jenkins does is intentional, nothing is hidden.
What about Jenkins’ pass-blocking skills?
As a pass protector, Jenkins is well versed and technically sound in the three-step and 5-7 step passing game. His heavy hands and hand usage allow him to neutralize pass rushers at the point of attack and is able to just throw players to the ground. Bull rushers have no chance against him because of his quick set and low anchor. It’s the long and lengthy edge rushers that give Jenkins the most problems.
Because of the aforementioned arm length issue, Jenkins sometimes has to reach for the edge rusher causing him to lose his base and balance trying to pass block. It’s most important for Jenkins to explode out of his pass-rush stance with his arms out and extended early so as not to reach and get off balance. Make no mistake, the Kansas native is able to play right tackle in the NFL and be successful.
With all of the free-agent signings the Raiders have done, it’s most important not to overdraft or reach at pick 17. If there’s an offensive tackle available the Raiders love, pull the trigger, even if you eventually decide to move him inside.
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*Top Photo: William Purnell/Getty Images