between two young players who both played well as rookies last year.
That's right, "both" played well.
And going back to the comment by Scandrick's agent of "last year's film," I'm not sure it's as one-sided as he or other people seem to think.
This is where I believe perceptions can be tricky.
Do I think Scandrick played better than Jenkins last season? No, not particularly. I think they both played in some sort of backup roles for most of the season, but both got ample playing time.
Now, did the play of Scandrick surprise me more than Jenkins? No doubt. Jenkins is a first-round pick. Fair or not, you're expecting a guy to come in and lock down everyone.
Scandrick was a fifth-round pick who is undersized. He is fast and based on perceptions, he's believed to be lacking toughness. What we found out early on is that's not the case with Scandrick. He might be about 190 pounds but throws every bit of his body around. He's not big, but he's physical.
As for Jenkins, I still believe he's a physical player, too. I know, I know what you're thinking. I was there, too. I saw the play in New York. We all saw Jenkins move out the way and avoid contact, allowing Giants tailback Derrick Ward to score a touchdown.
Too bad, that's the play people remember from Jenkins that day. He also scored his first career touchdown, picking off a relatively easy pass from Eli Manning.
But overall, taking the entire season into account, they both played well. I just think it's easier to say Scandrick was better based on your expectations for him and your expectations for Jenkins.
Scandrick certainly played well as the nickel corner in the slot. We've always heard it's the toughest spot to play and for him to do it as a rookie was very impressive.
But let's not forget that Jenkins can cover, too. He's also a man-to-man guy who likes to press. Had that been his role last year, who's to say Jenkins wouldn't have thrived as well? Then again, the expectations for him were much higher than a slot corner.
However, there are three good things about all of this.
First, and mentioned earlier, they both want to start. They both feel the importance of being that starter. They are both fighting for this spot, which should result in a higher-level of play from both of them. That should result in a higher-level of play from the overall defense.
Secondly, the good part about this position is that whoever doesn't start will also play more than half of the snaps, too. In most seasons, a defense will play its Nickel or Dime package about 50 percent of the time. So that means whoever doesn't start will play significant time in the sub-packages, too.
And third, since the popular opinion is that Scandrick is indeed further along than Jenkins, all of the draft status from a year ago is thrown out the window. Now, they're on equal ground with equal perceptions.
The best guy, from the start of camp to the end of camp, will get the job. The good thing is the second-best guy will be counted on quite a bit, too.