Dolphins 2015 grades: Jelani Jenkins


The Miami Dolphins Jelani Jenkins was not as effective in 2015 as many expected. In part that is due to injury but when he was on the field, his inability in run defense drove his performance down.

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Jelani Jenkins – linebacker

2016 salary – $793,000

There is no benefit to releasing Jelani Jenkins and doing so would not be a good move for the team. There is no real salary cap relief and Jenkins is slowly emerging as a reliable outside linebacker despite his down season from 2014.

Jenkins ranked in the upper half of all linebackers finishing around 65.2 according to ProFootballFocus, good enough for a spot in the top 40. Clearly Jenkins was far more effective against the pass where he was graded out in the high 60’s while dropping to the 50’s against the run. Jenkins was good in pass rush ranking 74 (100 is the best). Injuries however derailed derailed the last month of his season.

What makes Jenkins good however is that he is young and learns well. Better coaching and a better scheme should help him grow as a better run defender but he needs to become far more disciplined in that area of his game.

In 2015 Jenkins had a total of 51 tackles, 30 solo and 21 assists. It was good enough for 5th on the team despite missing time. Jenkins can become a bookend linebacker and has a lot more to learn. 2015 was only his 2nd season as a starter and it can be argued that he wasn’t put into successful positions by Kevin Coyle.

Jenkins will benefit in 2016 with better inside linebacker play, if the Dolphins can indeed find that.

Overall 2015 grade:


Why C+

Jenkins missed too much time this year and frankly when he was in, whether by scheme or something else, he struggled too often against the run and that was a big problem for the Dolphins in 2015.