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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Kiffin on USF's Jenkins

7

March

Monte Kiffin came away from USF's pro day even more impressed by Bulls cornerback Mike Jenkins.

You have to think Kiffin would love nothing more than to have the Bucs pick a defensive player in the first round for the second consecutive year. If that happens, expect Jenkins to be one Tampa Bay considers -- if he's still on the board when the Bucs select 20th overall.

After Jenkins' workout, Kiffin offered before even being asked, "Man, that kid is something else."

Asked to elaborate, Kiffin happily complied, saying, "He's a special guy. He's got great feet and great ball skills. You can see it. And he can help you on special teams, too. But you don't draft a guy in the first round for special teams. You're going to draft him to be a great corner."

Kiffin likes the fact that Jenkins has excelled in both man-to-man and zone coverages, as USF in 2007 mixed its coverages to include more man-to-man looks because of Jenkins' ability to blanket receivers. When a team is renowned for the Tampa 2 defense which utilizes mostly zone concepts, Kiffin said there tends to be a perception that such teams seek only "system" cornerbacks. But Kiffin said the Bucs are looking for cornerbacks with the total package: guys who can stuff the run and play assignment football in the zone but also stick receivers step for step.

The scheme can be taught, Kiffin said. Intangibles can't.

"He can play man and he's got great man skills," Kiffin said of Jenkins. "We always talk about the Tampa 2. But like I said earlier, I can't teach speed. You can't teach a guy who runs a 4.8 (40-yard dash) to run a 4.3. You can work on skills, you can improve on catching the football. . . But the real good ones, they just have the hands."

One other note from the pro day: from the blast-from-the-past department, former Buc Frank Murphy was there to work out for scouts, too. Guess it's never too late for a comeback.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:58pm]

    

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