DE Anfernee Jennings, Alabama

6’2” – 256 lbs.

Rotated into the defense as a redshirt freshman, then stepped into a starting role the following year and finished with 41-6.0-1.0, sustaining a season-ending knee injury in the semifinal against Clemson. Came back to finish his junior year with 50-13.0-5.5 and eleven pass breakups, then went 83-12.5-8.0 in an impressive senior year. Height is just adequate for a pro defensive end, although he has pretty impressive length, with arms measuring just under 33” at the Combine; has a thick if slightly top-heavy build which should meet almost any team’s minimum requirement.

Functioned as essentially an elephant (strongside) outside linebacker in Alabama’s odd defensive front. Bread and butter is his ability to set the edge in the run game. Plays with patience and toughness on the outside, getting physical with opposing tackles and tight ends and anchoring well on the edge. Doesn’t always get ideal extension, but does a good job of holding his ground and maintaining his run fits to funnel backs inside. Has active, powerful hands to shed blockers when he uses appropriate technique. Looks disciplined on the backside and shows an impressive motor in pursuit, although his speed in pursuit is just adequate.

Was a productive pass-rusher this past season, but looks more like an effort-based rusher than someone with a very deep repertoire of moves. Has some suddenness to threaten with inside moves, but otherwise tends to rely more on active hands to try and shed blockers; not the most explosive speed-rusher on the edge, and has some balance issues which can crop up from time to time as well. For a player with his type of physical profile, would like to see some more bull-rushing, as that seems like it might suit his build. Would also be well-served by integrating more counters into his game, as he can end up idling around the line when his initial move is unsuccessful.

For a bigger linebacker, looks surprisingly comfortable working in coverage. Relies more on awareness and technique because of his average speed, but does a good job of keeping himself in-phase and batting down passes on short throws over the middle of the field. Was even asked to carry opponents out of the backfield and down the sidelines on occasion in pattern-match zones; that might be a risky role for him at the pro level, but looked comfortable turning and running as a college player.

A stand-up edge defender with a thick build and the physicality, toughness, and patience to set the edge in the run game, he’s also adequate on passing downs, with some ability to generate pressure as a pass-rusher and surprisingly competent coverage skills. May never be a premier pass-rusher, but looks like a second-day pick who can do everything at least reasonably well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s