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2008 Season Retrospective: Kelly Jennings

Outlook: Seattle drafted Kelly Jennings in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft, because he was polished, had precocious cover skills and could start right away. In two seasons starting at Miami, Jennings recorded 72 tackles and 39 solo tackles. Roughly, what that means is that opponents were not targeting the receiver Jennings was covering. Jennings had three interceptions his senior season, and six overall. Kelly Jennings was a sound second cornerback in 2007, because he was polished and had precocious cover skills. Lost to many, Jennings was an integral part of Seattle's hustle pass rush: Covering his man and keeping the quarterback clutching. Jennings does not have NFL caliber ball skills. That's a weakness that defined his 2008.

Had Jennings mixed in an interception at any point in 2008, at any point in 2007, his 2008 season would not have been so disastrous. Buffalo proved Jennings was bringing a knife to a gunfight. Jennings covered Lee Evans. Trent Edwards was incomplete on five of his first six pass attempts to Evans, but continued to gun away. Eventually, the dam broke. Evans completed his final three targets for 70 yards. Jennings could tip the pass away or shield Evans, but he couldn't punish Edwards for targeting Evans. So, despite good cover, Jennings was mercilessly targeted. He was targeted 18 times in the first two games. He was benched to start the game against Saint Louis, started against the Giants, was burned twice in the first quarter, and then relegated to playing right corner in nickel packages.

Jennings' outlook is easy: develop ball skills or fail.