Brandon Jenkins to Redskins: How Does Defensive End Fits with Washington?

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2013

Dec 29, 2011; Orlando, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive end Brandon Jenkins (49) against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second quarter of the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl at the Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports
Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins used the pick earned from trading Albert Haynesworth to the New England Patriots to select defensive end Brandon Jenkins.

It's another smart, low-key value pick from Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen. Jenkins is a hybrid rush end in the mold of the players the Redskins convert to outside linebackers in their 3-4 schemes.

He stands 6'2" and weighs 251 pounds. That's an ideal frame for the edges of a 3-4 front. Jenkins also possesses the length and movement skills to be a dangerous rusher on the outside.

His draft status was damaged thanks to a Lisfranc injury. The midfoot ailment kept him sidelined in all but one of his games during his final season at FSU.

That shows the Redskins hierarchy must really be enamoured with Jenkins. They will have overlooked the fact that he only had one sack in 2012 and focused on his 2011 production.

That year, Jenkins posted eight sacks to follow the 13.5 he registered in 2010. He's got the first-step speed to fire off the ball and the agility to bend and dip underneath offensive tackles.

Those are invaluable traits to any skilled pass-rusher. Jenkins has a good chance to become a valuable member of the pass-rush rotation in D.C.

The Redskins are thin on depth, both for their base front and nickel schemes. Veteran castoff Darryl Tapp was signed this offseason and he is normally joined by Rob Jackson.

However, Jackson will miss the first four games of the season thanks to a suspension for drug violations. That leaves few options in reserve behind starting pair Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan.

The duo are the team's best and only true pass-rushers. That means they are often forced to play three downs.

Orakpo is entering a contract year and missed 14 games in 2012 with a pectoral injury. Finding some youthful cover is a smart move.

The Redskins also need to add more weapons and vary their looks in nickel situations. Jenkins can help defensive coordinator Jim Haslett do that.

Although he's not as skilled or 3-4 savvy as a player like Chase Thomas, Franklin is the kind of rush end the Redskins stockpile on the outside.

He'll need to stay healthy to win a roster spot, but Franklin's potential to contribute early on Haslett's defense is definitely there.