The old man out of an extremely young New England Patriots wide receivers corps in training camp is Michael Jenkins, and he finds himself right on the roster bubble and on the wrong side of it following the buzz undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins has created. But Jenkins has experience on his side, and he did an excellent job during OTAs and minicamp. Jenkins didn’t have the best of performances yesterday, as he was clearly outplayed by Thompkins, who reportedly caught just about everything thrown at him and ran with the first teamers. Meanwhile, Jenkins, who ran with the first team during OTAs and minicamp, struggled with drops which is uncharacteristic for “Molasses Mike”.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Michael Jenkins (84) runs onto the field before the game with the Chicago Bears at the Metrodome. The Vikings win 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Although Jenkins is a slow, old receiver without much upside, he has plenty of size and is a reliable target who can move the chains and be a presence in the red zone. Drops are rarely an issue for Jenkins, and part of that must be how seriously he takes dropping passes. What I find interesting is that Jenkins punishes himself for dropped passes by doing push-ups after each drop, which is something that WEEI’s Kevin Dillon noted. Dillon, by the way, has been doing a phenomenal job covering Patriots training camp for WEEI, so you should definitely be checking out the “It Is What It Is” blog.
Jenkins had this to say about what he does following a dropped pass at camp, “That’s just a little thing for myself is to do some pushups, penalizing myself for a drop. You bounce back, come back and make the next play and keep going. … There are always ups and downs throughout training camp. You catch 1,000 balls and hopefully you keep your drops and the ones that hit the ground to a very minimum.”
Dillon notes that Michael Jenkins looked better on one-on-one drills, but he certainly has a difficult battle for a roster spot ahead of him against young guys like Thompkins and Kamar Aiken. Coming into training camp, I had Kenbrell Thompkins as my No. 5 receiver, and the gap between him and the competition has only widened after the past two days of camp. But that’s just two days, and there’s still plenty of camp left for Jenkins to get back on top.