Anfernee Jennings 2020 NFL Draft Profile

Anfernee Jennings
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Overview

Position: Edge Rusher
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 256 lbs
School: Alabama Crimson Tide

Anfernee Jennings 2020 NFL Draft Profile 

Jennings was a highly recruited in-state talent for the Crimson Tide. As a Dadeville High School senior, Jennings’ impressive 170 total tackles and 14 sacks earned him an opportunity to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game. The four-star recruit generated numerous offers from schools such as Arkansas, Georgia, Arizona State, and Nebraska before committing to Alabama.

Jennings began his collegiate career as a 2016 redshirt freshman where he initially was lost in the shuffle of Alabama’s deep depth at linebacker. However, as the season progressed, Jennings was able to play valuable snaps. Entering his 2017 season, Jennings took on a starting role within the Tide’s defense before a knee injury in the College Football Playoff semifinal game ended his season. Through extensive rehab, Jennings had a solid junior season in which he was nominated for the Bednarik and Butkus Award watch list. Jennings then returned for a memorable 2019 senior campaign which ended with him being selected to the All-SEC First Team as well as being a Butkus Award semifinalist.    

Strengths

  • strong hands with good block shedding ability;
  • good length and extension when engaging blockers at the point;
  • has a well-developed arsenal of pass rush counters with smooth transitions from one to the next;
  • disciplined and consistent edge setter when defending the run;
  • strong base;
  • good tackler with an NFL caliber frame;
  • admirable on-field leader who accepts his role along with assignments and consistently executes;  

Weaknesses

  • average athleticism for an NFL edge rusher;
  • stiff hips with average flexibility in his rushes;
  • average agility and lateral movement prevents any strong hopes of him consistently playing in space; 
  • average first step quickness and often needs to utilize his counters to win rushes; 
  • lack of top-end athleticism shows up when trying to tackle shiftier runners; 

NFL Comparison: Rob Ninkovich 

Teams With Need at Position: Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants, New York Jets, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans

Projection: Early to late third round  

Bottom Line 

Jennings does not provide game changing athleticism when coming off the edge of a defense. Additionally, he will rarely win a pass rush purely based on first step quickness or pure bull rush strength. However, Jennings is smart enough to recognize his physical limitations and has committed himself to developing the finer details of the position. Despite being just an average pass rusher, Jennings excels at defending the run and his eye discipline coupled with his football IQ make it very difficult for offenses to get him out of position. Furthermore, Jennings wins pass rushes based on his polished hand technique as well as an array of counter moves that keep blockers guessing and constantly on their toes. Jennings plays with a team first mentality and consistently does what coaches assign him to do before worrying about impacting the play in other ways. While Jennings is not the flashiest playmaker coming off the edge, he consistently plays his role well and understands the value of team defense better than most.

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