- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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With 15 days until the NFL draft begins, here is another potential draft prospect for the Baltimore Ravens:
Position: Defensive tackle
School: Florida State
Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 299
Round projection: First or second
File this away: Jernigan made nine tackles in the national championship game despite battling illness.
Good: Raw upper body strength is what stands out about Jernigan. He can clog up the middle and absorb double teams, which is surprising given he's slightly undersized. Jernigan is just stout and uses that to anchor the middle. He is also a smart, disruptive run defender. Some of that is improved ball awareness. The other part is his ability to use leverage and recognize when to disengage to make the play. Jernigan is considered a strong tackler.
Bad: Jernigan is considered a 4-3 defensive tackle, so you have to wonder if he fits the Ravens' 3-4 scheme. The biggest knock on him is the time it takes for him to get off the snap. Changing direction is also a weakness. His 20-yard shuttle time (4.84 seconds) was tied for slowest among defensive tackles at the NFL combine. Some have questioned his durability because he was largely a rotational player during his college career.
Bottom line: Taking Jernigan at No. 17 would be too high. The Ravens would consider him if they traded back to the bottom of the first round or if Jernigan slipped to the middle of the second round. This represents more of a value pick than a need one, although Jerigan can help fill the void left by Arthur Jones. Jernigan is No. 33 on Mel Kiper Jr.'s ranking of the top 100 prospects.
What Jernigan said: "I definitely don’t feel like [my stamina was] an issue. I played on a team where I only played four full games the entire season and I just did what I could with the opportunity. There wasn’t times where I had to play the whole game. Every game I was out by third quarter. But when my number was called, when they needed Jernigan to be in the game, when I knew that I had to be in the game in order for us to win, I was there. I played 73 plays."
Here is a recap of the prospects already profiled:
Quarterback: Jimmy Garoppolo.
Running back: Carlos Hyde.
Offensive line: Joel Bitonio.
Defensive tackle: Dominique Easley.
Cornerback: Bashuad Breeland.