/ AFC East / The Combine Report: Jenkins, Foreign-Born Football Players Land NFL Deals

The Combine Report: 2017 CFL Season - 18 RC Pioneers Take Their Talents North

 

The NFL Regional Combine platform continues to be represented well North of the border in the CFL. And if the CFL preseason is an indication of excellence for the 2017 season, the collective group of talents who ventured the annual workouts in the states will be proven assets for the grand Canadian league.

 

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Chris Lyles/Google Images

The Combine Report: Kline, RC Players Lit Up The CFL During Preseason

No call. No workouts welcomed by NFL squads – no problem. The 2017 NFL Regional Combine standouts, like quarterback Zach Kline, and others before them from the platform are making essential cases for themselves as professional players in the CFL.

 

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Abner Logan: Needed A Fresh Start For His NFL Journey

 

Having the talent to play football on a high level was never Abner Logan’s affair. Even his ability to play in the NFL was never the question. Following a serious injury and a major decision, inquiring minds wondered how the highly-touted four-star recruit from Massachusetts was going to be entertained for a career playing on Sunday afternoons.

 

 

 

 

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Abner Logan (left)/Bills.com

The Combine Report: Jenkins, Foreign-Born Football Players Land NFL Deals

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Linebacker Alex Jenkins’ signing was not immediate, but his impact on the field could be. Jenkins’ journey to the NFL is a microcosm of the foreign-born football players’ experience of loving the game, the learning curve and

 

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NFL Caretakers: Carlisle, NFL Officials Emphasizing Physical Health To Enforce The Rules

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The NFL rule book is massive with instructions of do’s and don’t’s, almost biblical in a sense. Knowing the what to do and enforcing the league’s boundaries is half the battle. Unlike the bible where a spiritual aspect is needed to execute its purpose, enforcing the NFL rules is probably more of a challenge, physically.

 

    

 

   

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The Combine Report: 2017 RC Class Is 39 Strong In The NFL

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Following a slow start of signings and no player drafted from the platform, the 2017 NFL Regional Combine class is strongly represented by 39 talents.

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Nick Mullens/49ers.com

The Combine Report: Chiefs Welcomes WR Justice Liggins To Camp. A Steal In The Making?

When former Stephen F. Austin wide receiver Justice Liggins step onto the Kansas City Chiefs practice field, they will witness a wonder during their rookie mini-camp. Liggins accepted his invite with the Chiefs following the 2017 NFL Draft.

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The Combine Report: Birdsong Accepts Tryout For The Seahawks

After enduring the process of transferring from one program to another, and journeying through the NFL Regional Combine, former Tennessee Tech quarterback Michael Birdsong took his biggest step towards his NFL dream by accepting a tryout for the Seattle Seahawks.

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The Combine Report: 22 RC Players Were Signed As UDFA, None Drafted

NFL clubs deemed 22 out of the 780 NFL hopefuls who attended the NFL Regional Combine were worth the opportunity to extend their dreams. For the first time since the platform’s inception in 2012, no player was drafted. Was the talent pool thin in the 2017 RC trials or did NFL squads want to play it safe by relying on more traditional powers for the selection process?

 

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The Combine Report: Draftable RC Players For The 2017 NFL Draft

The late round of NFL Drafts is where the selection process begins. While there is value in the fourth and fifth rounds, sixth and seventh rounders can be translated as players who earned an early invitation to NFL camps. Either way, late rounders are can’t miss players.

The NFL Regional Combine had several talents who bestowed onto the platform in 2017 that can succeed in the league. Albeit, all of the 780 participants, a few are draftable and simply can not be miss.

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The Combine Report: Jenkins, Foreign-Born Football Players Land NFL Deals

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Defensive end Alex Jenkins’ signing was not immediate, comparably to the foreign-born football players in the NFL before him. However, a couple of tweaks here and there, Jenkins can have an instant impact on the field.

“This is a chance to develop and become a player in the NFL,” said Jenkins. “It has been a pretty intense time. It feels too good to be true. I always thought I would be trying to do this on my own until NFL International found me.”

Jenkins always been athletic, but searching for the suitable sport to match his skill set was a bit of a challenge, until former NFL fullback Cecil Martin introduced the hybrid defensive lineman to America’s game.

Alex Jenkins/Google Images

Alex Jenkins/Google Images

“I fell in love with it (football) at my first practice,” said Jenkins. “I met a guy named Cecil Martin (former Philadelphia Eagles running back) at practice in Bristol. I realized that my body was built for this game.

“When I got my scholarship to the United States, that’s when I realized I could be good at this,” he continued. “When you realized you are good at something, you fall in love with it.”

Following a solid collegiate career at Incarnate Word, Jenkins needed to make another push to get NFL squads to recognize him – and the NFL Regional Combine was his breakthrough.

The NFL Regional Combine hosts hundreds of NFL hopefuls each year. Many foreign-born players ventured through the RC to obtain NFL glory and all, but one, failed. The foreign-born players who performed at the RC were athletic, but their mechanics and techniques were not sufficient for the league.

Miami Dolphins defensive end Lawrence Okoye journeyed through the RC in 2013, and landed on several NFL teams since then. Clearly, the British track and field star’s lateral movement ability, combined with his strength, explosiveness and footwork, earned him a NFL career.

Currently, Okoye is the UK’s brightest star from the RC.

Lawrence Okoye/Google Images

Lawrence Okoye/Google Images

Jenkins has the potential to be the next British star from the annual sessions. The defensive talent is quick, explosive, balance, has great footwork and ball skills.

The aggressive Jenkins signed with the New Orleans Saints. The Saints was one of the teams that witnessed Jenkins’ abilities at the New Orleans-held NFL Regional Combine workouts in March.

Jenkins will be a solid project, but he will excel on either a team with good defensive depth where he is not an immediate factor or positioned in a system that can use his speed and abilities creatively.

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Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen is aggressive and can disguise defensive package well, especially from the interior.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Combine Report: 2017 RC Class Is 39 Strong In The NFL

 

Assuming Jenkins will make the Saints’ roster, he should standout on special teams with him disruptive speed and tackling talent. Nevertheless, his approach and attitude towards the game will impress the Saints now.

“I can play every down,” said Jenkins. “You have a guy who will join your team and the goal is to win a Super Bowl, nothing less.”

Accompanied Jenkins are three other foreign-born players who inked deals in the NFL in former England rugby star turned tight end Alex Gray (Atlanta Falcons), linebacker Eric Nzeocha (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and defensive end Efe Obada (Carolina Panthers).

Comparably to Jenkins, Obada used the NFL Combine Series as a bridge to the NFL. The only difference is that Obada is returning to the league. The Nigerian stands 6-6, 255-pounds and was a member of the Dallas Cowboys (2015), Kansas City Chiefs (2016) and Falcons (2016), but never experienced playing time during the regular season.

Efe Obada/Google Images

Efe Obada/Google Images

In late March, Obada participated in the first annual NFL Pro Player Combine, a series fashioned for recent NFL players who were removed from the game no more than two years prior to the workout.

Obada excited the NFL scouts there, and this year, he may finally see action on the field.

“I am very happy and excited about the opportunity,” said Obada. “I feel like this is something I need to progress and further my career. I am very grateful to the guys who have worked with us and put their neck on the lines for us. It’s a chance to develop my skills and it is going to be nice to be in that NFL environment again.”

Jenkins is especially excited with his signing with the Saints. This season, the Saints will play in England, where the Bath native resides, against the Miami Dolphins. Jenkins is looking forward to the potential opportunity to play in front of his home crowd.

And to ultimately inspire more foreign-born athletes to learn the game to become some of the NFL’s elite.

“The fact that the Saints will be playing in London this season (Oct. 1) makes it even more exciting for me,” said Jenkins.

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