Offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins is projected to be selected in the first or second round of the NFL Draft this weekend, but the Clarksdale native has not forgotten his roots.
Jenkins, a 2014 Clarksdale High School graduate who earned his degree from Mississippi State in December 2018, will be spending the days of the upcoming NFL Draft at home with his family in Clarksdale.
The NFL Draft is in downtown Nashville, Tenn., with the first round scheduled for Thursday night. The draft runs through Saturday.
“They’ve always been at the football games and stuff like that,” Jenkins said of his family.
“Every time I get awards and stuff, I’ll always be with my family and they congratulate me.
“I feel like, on a day like that, I’ll be more comfortable with my family.”
Jenkins’ parents are Elgton Sr. and Delandra Jenkins and he has one sister, Indigol Counslor, and a brother, Jerry Counslor.
Jenkins played center as a senior and finished his college career playing for the South in the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., in January.
“It was a good experience going out and playing with some guys and meeting with some coaches, putting a name with faces,” Jenkins said.
And Jenkins has been focused on the NFL Draft ever since.
At Mississippi State’s Pro Day, Jenkins said he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.95 seconds.
“It was just running drills and showing coaches how I could move and stuff,” Jenkins said.
At the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine held earlier this spring at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, Jenkins said his score was 28½ inches in the vertical jump and 9 feet, 1 inch in the broad jump. He ran the 5-10-5, which is a 20-yard shuttle, in 4.62 seconds.
“The last few months I’ve been going through the draft process, going to the combine, showing teams what I could do, stuff like that,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins, listed at 6 feet, 4 inches, 310 pounds, said he was 260 pounds in high school.
He said 310 pounds is an ideal weight and he is prepared to play anywhere on the offensive line.
“Teams are talking to me about all positions,” Jenkins said.
“They are talking to me about center, guard and tackle. Whatever they need, I’m willing to play.”
Jenkins said, at the NFL Combine, representatives from different teams told him he moved well and that they liked his versatility.
The one-time Wildcat is keeping his foot on the gas right up until draft day with intensive training in Plano, Texas.
“Right now, I’m in Texas training with Duke Manyweather trying to perfect my craft,” said Jenkins, adding Manyweather is a line specialist.
Jenkins continues to take everything in stride.
“The projections are first round, hopefully, second,” said Jenkins of where he could be selected in the NFL Draft. “I don’t really listen to projections, though.
“I just have to wait until draft day to see.”
While Jenkins said he would be happy playing for any team, he has a lifetime friendship with New Orleans Saints safety Juantavius “J.T.” Gray, who is also a 2014 CHS graduate and played for Mississippi State.
“It would be nice to go there,” Jenkins said. “J.T. and I have been playing with each other since peewee, but I’m just ready to play football.”
Jenkins said he provided all NFL teams with his contact information at the Senior Bowl and Combine.
“The team, most likely, they’ll call me right before they say my name and let me know they’re going to draft me,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said he not only talks with his family regularly, he still keeps in contact with his hometown friends and coaches.
“They’re giving a word of encouragement and telling me how proud they are of me,” he said.
Jenkins said he wanted to let kids in Clarksdale know they can achieve anything.
“Anything can be achieved,” he said. “It just takes faith in God and hard work.”