Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan has gone on record to say he has not become the "dominant force" he was drafted for.
"[I] just have to become that force that I was drafted here to be," Jernigan said. "I feel like last year I came up a little bit short. I feel like I had a good year, but to my standards, I don’t think it was enough
Jernigan started the season off slowly in 2015. And even further, when he found himself playing "great" he was, in fact, closer to just "good".
Enter Ravens rookie defensive lineman Wille Henry from the Michigan Wolverines. Despite his fall to the fourth round, Henry has been compared to very productive NFL players like Sharrif Floyd of the Minnesota Vikings and Star Lotulelei of the Carolina Panthers. Henry may be a little raw but his athletic gifts cannot be matched. His performance against the Michigan State Spartans in 2015 proves it. In this meeting against an arch rival, Henry lined up as a seven technique in college and destroyed Michigan State's right tackle late in the fourth quarter where defensive linemen are supposed to tire.
Jernigan cannot afford to start off slow in 2016. The Ravens cannot afford for him to start slow. He will need to show improved flexibility to unlock the possibility for stunts to be employed. Athletically, whatever Jernigan does not bring to the table, Henry does. The former will have to break out, for his own sake.