Florida State has a great football program and is constantly pushing out stars to the NFL. The area I am most impressed with is the program’s defensive line. There is so much strength and tenacity coming from the trenches against opposing offenses that anyone could see why Timmy Jernigan is a first-round hopeful for the Baltimore Ravens.
Jernigan is a 6-foot-2, 292 pound defensive tackle from Lake City, Florida. He has one of the most impressive builds I have ever seen in a DT. His ability to toss linemen out of the way like little rag-dolls on the way to the QB is really impressive.
He has great pursuit of the ball carrier and once he gets there, he wraps up when tackling. I love that he uses his whole body to tackle — nothing impresses me more that guys who know how to tackle. It’s almost a lost art in the league because so many players are looking to make the big bone-crushing hit leading with the shoulder and then when they miss, the runner makes them pay big with a 20-yard gain when it should have been a three-yard loss upon contact in the backfield.
The way Jernigan lays his full body weight on runners when tackling has to strike fear in any offensive player. His game is similar to that of Ndamukong Suh minus the dirty tactics. Jernigan never gives up on a play and always pursues until the whistle. His nine tackles and half a sack in the BCS Championship game speaks to that.
The only knock I have on Jernigan is that his technique is the same on every play. He was facing undersized linemen and used a push-and-pull technique to sling them out of the way on the majority of his matchups. He will need to learn different techniques at the next level in order to be consistently successful. In Baltimore, he will also need to learn how to eat up more than one defender for overall success on certain plays.
With the possible departure of Art Jones due to his impressive play in 2013 pushing his value above Baltimore’s pockets, Jernigan may be a great fit in Charm City alongside Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, Elvis Dumervil and Brandon Williams. The addition of Jernigan would certainly beef up the run-stop that Baltimore let decline in 2013.
There are guys who come out to play the game for the money and those who look like they would play this game for free forever. Jernigan plays like a Raven and if Newsome takes one look at the tape, we could see him shooting up draft boards.