Jelani Jenkins became the fifth former Gator football player selected in the 2013 NFL Draft when the Miami Dolphins selected him with the 104th pick overall.
Jenkins was a top high school prospect out of Our Lady of Good Counsel in Maryland. Jenkins was a two-time Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year and an All-American.
He spent his first season redshirting before becoming a regular starter at weakside linebacker. He was a first team Freshman All-SEC in 2010.
Jenkins got a huge red flag from a lot of NFL teams due to his injury history. Jenkins missed just one game in 2010-2011 but was sidelined for most of his junior season with various injuries, including the Sugar Bowl. Jenkins was unable to participate at the NFL combine and then ran a slower-than-expected 40-yard dash at Florida’s pro day.
Jenkins showed better speed on the field and in pads than he did at Florida’s pro day. In Jenkins the Dolphins are getting a prototypical 4-3 outside linebacker who can step in and play special teams right away and will compete for one of the two starting outside linebacker spots. Jenkins was the best cover-linebacker left in the draft and he might have been the best cover-linebacker in the entire draft.
Jenkins joins another former Gator football player, Mike Pouncey, in Miami. He is the 11th Gator selected by the Dolphins all-time and the first linebacker since Channing Crowder in 2005.