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Second Round: CB, Tim Jennings

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Second Round: CB, Tim Jennings

Postby Dr. Duran Duran » Sun Apr 30, 2006 2:12 am

Here's an article on about our 2nd round selection, Tim Jennings.

Colts Go Defensive by Selecting Jennings in Second Round
INDIANAPOLIS - One thing the Colts proved again Saturday:
To play defense in Indianapolis, being an NFL prototype doesn't necessarily matter too much.

“We’ve had pretty good success with the Volkswagon Bus Crowd,” Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy said with a laugh.

The crowd’s latest member:

The Colts’ second-round selection in the 2006 NFL Draft, Tim Jennings.

Jennings (5-feet-7, 185 pounds), a physical, fast cornerback from the University of Georgia, joined the Colts early Saturday evening as the No. 62 overall selection, the 30th selection of the second round.

“He’s just short,” Colts President Bill Polian said. “He’s not small. . . . We think it’s an upgrade in the secondary for us.”

Jennings, who started 33 games over four seasons at Georgia, became the first defensive player selected by the Colts in this year’s draft. Several hours earlier, the Colts made Louisiana State running back Joseph Addai the No. 30 overall selection.

“I’m so excited right now,” Jennings said.

Watching the draft at home in South Carolina, Jennings said he wasn’t sure at first the pre-selection phone call from the Colts was legitimate.

“The first thing that popped into my head was, 'It’s not one of these phone calls where they’re trying to get information,’’’ said Jennings, who had 10 interceptions at Georgia, including a career-high four as a senior. “I wanted the real-deal phone call, but it was a great feeling. What told me they were for real was when they put Coach Dungy on.

“He told me it wasn’t about the size or where you were drafted at. It was about what you’re capable of doing. Then, I knew it was for real.”

The selection of Jennings continued a recent Colts trend of selecting defensive backs early in the draft. Last April, they selected cornerback/safety Marlin Jackson from Michigan in the first round, then selected Kelvin Hayden from Illinois in the second round.

A year earlier, they drafted safety Bob Sanders from Iowa in the second round and the year before that, they used a second-round selection on safety Mike Doss from Ohio State and a third-round selection on cornerback/safety Donald Strickland from Colorado.

“I think we’ve just added another fast, tough guy,” Dungy said.

“We always believe you can never have enough cornerbacks,” Polian said. “He’s a guy that is going to be a contributor for us.”

It also continued a trend of selecting players relatively small for their positions by NFL standards:

Dwight Freeney. Sanders.

Robert Mathis. David.

“Those guys have been pretty good for us,” Dungy said. “Tim will fit right in.”

All have been selected by the Colts since Dungy’s 2002 arrival. Sanders and Freeney each have played in the Pro Bowl. Mathis has had double-digit sacks the past two seasons. And David has started each of his first two NFL seasons.

Jennings fits the mold, Polian and Dungy said, because although small by NFL standards, he is a physical player with proven college success.

“He’s a guy who can really run,” Polian said. “He’s under 4.4 – 4.38 – (seconds) in the 40(-yard dash). He’s got really good quickness. He’s tough and a good tackler.

“He played extensively there in their nickel package inside.”

Said Dungy, “He’s a very physical player. He played in a physical conference (the Southeastern Conference). He played against good people his whole career. He’s going to do well.”

Jennings can play in the secondary either in the slot or on the outside, Dungy said.

“I think he can do both,” Dungy said. “He played against very good receivers in practice at Georgia. He’s tough, which is the No. 1 thing I like. He’s really in keeping with the guys we’ve had the last couple of years – Mike Doss, Bob Sanders, Marlin Jackson, Kelvin Hayden . . .

“He’s going to fit right in that mold. He’s got a great deal of speed.”

Said Jennings, “I like to think I’m tough. I’m glad to see Coach Dungy realizes that, that I’m a real tough guy.”

Jennings, a cousin of former NFL cornerback Donnie Abraham – who played six seasons for Dungy in Tampa Bay – began playing football as a high school sophomore, and didn’t receive a scholarship offer from Georgia until the day before National Signing Day. Size, he said, always has been an issue, and something he always has overcome.

“I’ve been going through it my whole life,” Jennings said. “It really didn’t bother me. I’ve just taken it as motivation that, really, size doesn’t matter. I feel like I can play with anybody and play with the best. That’s why I went to Georgia and did what I did.

“That’s mostly the reason I’m here today. It was a motivational factor, to go out every day and prove people wrong, and that I can play with these guys.”

As was the case in the first round with Addai, Polian said the Colts targeted Jennings as a possibility in the second round, then waited somewhat nervously because they held the round’s second-to-last selection.

“We were hoping he would get to us,” Polian said. “It’s a long wait between rounds and the board is too accurate. He was the last guy on the board in the second round.

“We were fortunate, I think, that it stayed right for us until the end.”
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