Kevin C. Cox
A look at the DT from the University of Georgia, who would be the perfect nose tackle for the Saints.
Among most mock drafts, Jonathan Jenkins has been selected in the 20s of the first round, which is behind Sheldon Richardson and Sharrif Floyd, both who are defensive tackles. Star Lotulelei is picked ahead of him as well, but he has been taken consistently in the Top 5.
For the Saints' 3-4 scheme, I think Jenkins would be the best fit out of the available defensive tackles because he is quite a bit larger and stronger. The 6'4" 359 lbs. behemoth would serve as the plug for the front line and would most likely require double teams. His play would substantially improve the Saints' run defense. If I were to compare him to a current NFL player, Haloti Ngata would be the match.
Jonathan had 50 tackles, one sack, and one recovered fumble last season. I was able to watch pretty much all of his games this past year because I live in Georgia, and from my perspective his help came beyond the stats. He was able to push offensive lineman back with ease and was a big part of UGA's tough defense.
Unfortunately I couldn't find a full season's worth of highlights, but there was tape for the SEC Championship game against Alabama, which will suffice. As you watch the video, you can see that his favorite move is the bull rush. With his frame and power, it is pretty hard to stop. You probably also saw that he was routinely double teamed and chip blocked by several offensive lineman.
One flaw that Jenkins has is that he might be just a hair too slow. In order for him to survive in the league, he would need to cut just a little weight so he could get faster and leaner. According to Jason LaCanfora, he has already begun doing so.
Georgia DT John Jenkins looks to be in much better shape. Body and measurables much improved today from what I hear— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 23, 2013
I think that Jenkins would be a great pick for the Saints. He has the size and strength that is too significant to pass up. If they did pick Jenkins, then Akiem Hicks would possibly be able to slide to the defensive end position, which would better suit his pass rushing talents. Or they would have a great one-two punch of big men at nose tackle.