Jenkins TOUGH to figure out

Billy Jenkins is an intelligent, overachieving player, but he's not overly talented - like a lot of players the Bills have. Still, you can ink Jenkins in as the Bills starting strong safety – for now.

He signed a two-year deal worth $1.5 million, which hardly will break the Bills' bank, but is more than Pierson Prioleau or Raion Hill makes. Mind-bogglingly, the contract the Bills signed him to doesn't even compare to the seven-year, $18 million deal (with a $2.8 million signing bonus) that Denver signed him to in 2000. Is Donahoe a genius or a sucker, as the Broncos appeared to be?

The Broncos cut Jenkins after just six games last season (reportedly taking a $2 million salary cap hit in the process). In 2000, Jenkins started 16 games and intercepted four passes.

One of the reasons he was cut was because he allowed Seahawks rookie WR Alex Bannister to get inside him on a quick move, block a punt then return it for a game-clinching touchdown in Week 5.

The Broncos lost 34-21.

Being a liability on special teams is not good for a reserve. He had lost his job to second-year player Kenoy Kennedy because his tackling was poor. In Green Bay, Jenkins was a stopgap measure, holding the strong safety spot for the injured LeRoy Butler.

The scouting report on Jenkins: he lacks speed and he prefers a big hit to a wrap-up tackle. He was one of the players cited for blowing some serious tackles when Corey Dillon rushed for an NFL-record 278 yards vs. Denver in 2000.

Regardless, Jenkins had a great couple of seasons for the Rams, his first three years out of Howard, beginning in 1997. He was an undrafted rookie who stayed in the league, which is a similar story to London Fletcher, who came to the Rams as an undrafted rookie from John Carroll in 1998. Perhaps, he and Fletcher will bond in the Bills' defense.

Jenkins was St Louis' leading tackler in '98. In 1999, he and Fletcher flourished for the Rams, helping to win the Super Bowl. Denver traded for him that off-season for two fifth-round picks in 2000 and 2001.

Talk with Shout!'s Lary Bump and Mike Doser in the Shout! chat room during NFL Draft 2002, April 20-21. They'll be at Bills headquarters covering the activity.

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