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5 ‘Skins That Need To Step Up On Defense

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DE Jarvis Jenkins. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.
DE Jarvis Jenkins. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images.

The front seven on defense fell far short of expectations in 2012. Injuries claimed LB Brian Orakpo and DE Adam Carriker for nearly the entire season. The remaining healthy bodies failed to generate a pass rush and consistently exposed a talent-deficient secondary. Outside of London Fletcher battling through injuries and producing yet another heroic season, not a single player on the defensive line or in the linebacker corps distinguished themselves.

One player that was supposed to have a regular, noticeable impact was DE Jarvis Jenkins. A second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Jenkins looked like a real find in the 2011 preseason before tearing his ACL. Sporting a bulky knee brace and likely lacking confidence in his rebuilt wheel, Jenkins never produced like a second-round talent last season (he had exactly zero sacks). Entering his third NFL campaign and nearly two years off his ACL tear, Jenkins needs to be a disruptive force in 2013. The secondary should be better, but defenses are defined by their ability to make opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable. Last year, the ‘Skins treated the pocket like it had “Do Not Enter” signs posted all around its perimeter. If that’s to change in 2013, Jenkins needs to be one of the catalysts.