Malcolm Jenkins

Malcolm Jenkins to deliver commencement speech for Philly schools

Malcolm Jenkins to deliver commencement speech for Philly schools

Malcolm Jenkins is no longer a Philadelphia Eagle but he’s keeping his roots in Philly. 

Jenkins on June 9 will deliver the commencement address during a virtual graduation ceremony for The School District of Philadelphia. 

The entire graduation ceremony will be streamed on the school district’s website and on the district’s television station PSTV, beginning at 11 a.m. 

“We are so proud of all of our graduates,” Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said in a statement. “They have displayed incredible resilience the past few months as so many circumstances outside of their control dictated how they would end their senior year of high school. 

“These students deserve to be celebrated in a special way, so I’m especially grateful to Malcolm Jenkins for agreeing to serve as our commencement speaker. We’re looking forward to honoring this outstanding group of students as they embark on this next chapter after high school.”

Jenkins, 32, left the Eagles this offseason after the team allowed him to become a free agent. He signed a four-year deal to rejoin the New Orleans Saints, ending his six-year stint with the Eagles. During those six seasons, he made three Pro Bowls and became the unquestioned leader of a Super Bowl winner. 

As much as Jenkins did on the field, it shouldn’t overshadow what he did in the community during his time in Philadelphia. In fact, his devotion to the community is why the district said they think he’s the ideal commencement speaker. 

In addition to his active role in criminal justice reform and in matters of social injustice, Jenkins has made a difference through his foundation as well. 

Jenkins began The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation in 2010 in New Orleans but when he moved to Philadelphia, he expanded it. Today, the foundation serves youth in four states: New Jersey, Louisiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Jenkins is from New Jersey and he has played either collegiately or professionally in the other three. 

Back in March, when we learned the Eagles were moving on, Jenkins released a short but heartfelt message to Eagles fans telling them that Philly is still his home. 

He was serious about that. Just last week, Jenkins was working out with Rodney McLeod and Will Parks in the city and now he’s delivering the commencement speech for Philadelphia graduates. 

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Will Parks happy to get Malcolm Jenkins’ advice about his old position

Will Parks happy to get Malcolm Jenkins’ advice about his old position

Will Parks and Malcolm Jenkins have never been teammates, but it sort of felt that way last week. 

Parks and Jenkins met up with Rodney McLeod and all three safeties worked out together in Philly on Thursday. 

And Jenkins gave plenty of tips to Parks, one of the guys who will try to replace him with the Eagles in 2020. 

[Jenkins] showed up to the workout that we had yesterday and it was just awesome, man,” Parks said to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark on Friday. 

“Him being at that position, being able to teach me so many different things in a span of two hours, as far as what he gained from it, what learned from it, how he thinks I can excel in it. He told me so much yesterday.

This offseason, the Eagles let Jenkins walk as a free agent and he went back to the New Orleans Saints after six years in Philly. As a part of what seems like a multilayered plan to replace Jenkins, the Eagles signed Philly-native Will Parks to a one-year deal. 

Parks said he and Jenkins had worked out before but this time was obviously different. 

Remember, there’s a good chance Parks could be lining up this season next to McLeod in Jenkins’ old spot. And the Saints even play the Eagles this season. 

But Jenkins was happy to give Parks advice last week. 

Parks was asked what that says about Jenkins:

“It speaks to … it’s simple, he’s a man,” Parks said. “It’s not bigger than him. He loves this city, you know what I mean? This city has loved him ever since he got here. Him being able to just say, ‘hey, man, this is what I think, this is what I know you can do,’ just to show me different things, it speaks to him as a man. 

“He’s a great man, a great character guy, obviously with the community things he’s been involved in out here in the city. Hopefully, we can continue to carry that torch and take over where he left off and obviously create a new legacy as well. It’s exciting. He’s a great guy.” 

While Jenkins will be lining up for the Saints in 2020, it’s a little unclear who will be lining up next to his former safety mate, McLeod, in Philly. The Eagles have a few options, including Jalen Mills, rookie K’Von Wallace and, of course, Parks. 

But there’s some obvious uncertainty there. Both Mills and Parks are on one-year deals. Mills is making the switch from corner, Parks is learning a new defense and Wallace is a fourth-round pick. 

When we get to training camp, this will definitely be a battle to watch. Getting two hours of advice from a guy who held down that position for six seasons certainly won’t hurt Parks. 

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Are the 2020 Eagles better or worse at safety?

Are the 2020 Eagles better or worse at safety?

Executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman says the Eagles are a better football team after free agency and the draft. We're putting his claim to the test, breaking down the depth chart position by position to examine whether the roster really improved or actually took a step back this offseason.

Up next: Safety, where Malcolm Jenkins' exit created either a hole or an opportunity for a younger player.

Better

It's a good thing Jenkins and Rodney McLeod were on the field for almost every snap last season. There was nobody to take their place, especially once Andrew Sendejo was released.

While Jenkins' departure in free agency created a hole (more on that), at least the Eagles have bodies. Jalen Mills moves over from cornerback to take the spot. Will Parks brings four seasons and 15 career starts with the Broncos. And fourth-round pick K'Von Wallace has starter potential, if not in 2020, certainly beyond. Last year's backups, Marcus Epps and Rudy Ford, no longer appear to be part of the equation as long as Mills sticks at safety.

Worse

Depth is important, but Jenkins ensured those guys never saw the field in the first place. The three-time Pro Bowler lined up for 100 percent of the snaps for a second consecutive season in 2019. His demise was greatly exaggerated, too. Jenkins has definitely lost a step and made a few more mental mistakes in coverage than usual last year. He still finished with 81 tackles, 6 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, 9 quarterback hits, 8 pass breakups and 4 forced fumbles.

Jenkins is a playmaker and a leader. The Eagles didn't want to extend a 32-year-old safety with declining skill, which is understandable — but it's virtually certain his presence will be missed.

The same

The Eagles wisely chose not to make changes at both safety positions in the same offseason, opting instead to re-sign McLeod after another solid campaign.

McLeod is a perfectly cromulent center fielder for Jim Schwartz's defense. He hits hard and flies to the football, finishing last season with 76 tackles, 1.0 sack, 6 pass breakups, 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles in 16 games after an injury-shortened 2018. With McLeod in the room, the Eagles shouldn't miss Jenkins' leadership, either. It's welcome stability on the back end, especially in the wake of such a major departure.

The unknown

Mills actually seems like he might be a good fit for the Jenkins role — a box safety who can man up on bigger slot receivers. Thinking Mills will perform at Jenkins' level his first year playing the position is expecting a lot though.

The switch from cornerback isn't as outrageous as it might sound. Mills possesses a high football IQ and undoubtedly already knows where he needs to be. He's mentally tough as well and is going to compete.

Knowing the job and working hard are half the battle though. There are nuances he can only pick up on with experience, and while Mills did play some safety in college, that feels like ages ago. Some kind of learning curve feels inevitable here.

Better or worse?

While there's no getting around the fact that he's slowing down, Jenkins' demise was greatly exaggerated by some critics. He's still a quality football player, and one can easily make the case the Eagles made a mistake letting him go.

Mistake might be a tad strong given his age, and there's enough talent at the position now that the defense should be able to get by with some combination of Mills, Parks and Wallace alongside McLeod. But there's really no question that — in 2020 at least — the Eagles would've been a better team with Jenkins than they are without him. 

Worse 

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