Jordan Jenkins already sees himself as a fit with the Houston Texans.
Besides the fact that he already has family living in Houston, the six-year veteran linebacker knows a number of his new teammates from his time with the New York Jets, his collegiate days at Georgia or through NFL connections.
"When I didn't get drafted down in Houston, I figured it was never going to happen and now that it actually is – it still hasn't set in yet," Jenkins said. "It doesn't really feel real. I've been talking to my parents about it and I don't think it will actually feel real or like it's actually happening until the first game when we're running out of the tunnel and it's like man, I never thought this would happen. It's a dream come true."
Signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Texans on March 29, Jenkins brings his experience as a former sack leader for the Jets in each of the 2018 and 2019 seasons. In those same two seasons, Jenkins also recorded double-digit quarterback hits, logging 15 hits in 2018 and 13 in 2019.
"I feel like I'm a guy that can use different types of moves to get to the quarterback and can definitely set the edge pretty strong," Jenkins said. "I just feel like I can be a violent guy for this team and just be a guy who's going to give his all. If you need me to take out a pulling guard, I'll go meet that pulling guard, or if you need me to take out the fullback. Whatever. I'll do what needs to be done and that's just the mindset that I have. Whatever my role is, I'm going to do it to the fullest. There's no questions about it."
'Whatever needs to be done' is motto that Jenkins takes to heart.
Last season, Jenkins suffered a shoulder injury in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. He returned to the game after telling the training staff to "pop it back in" so he could continue to play. However, the shoulder continued to nag Jenkins throughout the season. He spent extra time rehabbing in the training room, but eventually was placed on injured reserve for the final three games of 2020.
Jenkins says it was probably "one of the toughest seasons" of his career.
With the offseason program starting up later this month, Jenkins continues to rehab and is excited for what this next chapter of his career will bring. For the first time in his NFL career, he will be playing for a new team.
"I feel like my rehab is going pretty well," Jenkins said. "I'm not sure when I'll be back but I just know when I do, I'm going to be the same physical, run-through-you type of guy that I've been over the last five years. That's something I take pride in being and just being violent and physical and aggressive. That's one thing that won't ever change about me."
A third-round pick (83rd overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft, Jenkins played five seasons (2016-20) for the Jets where he saw action in 72 games with 62 starts. He recorded 184 tackles (112 solo), 25 tackles for loss, 22.5 sacks for a loss of 147.0 yards, 46 quarterback hits, eight passes defensed, seven forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.