Former UGA linebacker Jordan Jenkins could be playing right away in the NFL.
Jenkins is getting a legitimate chance at a starting job as an outside linebacker with the New York Jets, according to a report from ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini. He reports the third-round pick got first-team reps during the team’s OTA practice on Wednesday and could be the favorite to replace aging veteran Calvin Pace on the edge.
The 6-foot-3, 259-pound Jenkins could fill an immediate void as an edge-setting linebacker on first and second downs. He recorded 59 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks during his senior season with the Bulldogs.
The competition for the second starting outside linebacker job is pretty wide open. The Jets also signed Canadian Football League standout Freddie Bishop and veteran linebacker Bruce Carter, but Bishop seems more likely to be a situational pass rusher and Carter could serve as a reliable backup. The Jets also drafted Ohio State linebacker Darron Lee with the 20th overall pick, and the talented speedster also could see some time on the edge in pass rushing situations.
The Jets are looking for versatility within the front seven, and it appears Jenkins will at least factor into that plan. Gang Green also has good history with UGA linebackers, an example being Mo Lewis. Lewis was drafted in 1991 and became one of the franchise’s best linebackers.
If all goes well during the summer, Jenkins could make UGA fans proud on Sundays.