Two years back Kentucky’s Josh Allen could have declared for the NFL Draft but decided to go back for his senior year and dominated the SEC earning Defensive Player of the Year and was drafted 6th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Alabama’s Anfernee Jennings could have also been in last year’s draft but decided to return for his senior year looking to enhance his stock. Could we see Jennings follow Josh Allen’s footsteps? Here we take a look at what Jennings does well, what concerns we have and what his NFL Projection is.
What Anfernee Jennings Does Well
You can tell quickly that Anfernee Jennings has a lot of experience just by watching him play. Jennings is able to quickly diagnose plays putting himself in the right position to make plays. Another area that shows experience is Jennings’ hand usage. Having active hands Jennings is able to set the edge well against the run or use a variety of different pass rush moves to beat tackles and get to the quarterback.
Concerns about Anfernee Jennings
While Jennings displays plenty of refinement in his game his biggest weakness is his lack of good athletic ability. Because Jennings lacks good explosiveness and bend he has to solely win on his pass rushing moves. While that does mean he can still have success, to be considered a top level pass rusher, he still needs to have certain baseline athletic traits. Now Jennings is far from a bad athlete as he does show the ability to play in space and even change directions but he’s still not overly fluid.
Anfernee Jennings Projection
Anfernee Jennings could have easily declared for the 2019 NFL Draft after a season that saw him finish with 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Some early love in the way too early 2020 Mock Drafts has Jennings going in the first round, However I just don’t see Jennings being a first round talent. And I’m not too confident that Jennings can follow Josh Allen’s footsteps. At the same stage of their careers Allen had 14 career sacks while Jennings has 6.5. Sure Jennings has size at 6’3 266lbs but he isn’t the same athlete that Allen is which should limit his potential.
Questions about Jennings fit in different schemes and his athletic ability will cause some teams to pass on him. Jennings’ best case scenario is to really develop his pass rushing moves. If he is a master at beating the tackles mentally and with good technique he can mitigate his lack of good physical traits. But he’d still only be considered a day two pick at best.