Meet the Troy Flash: WR Jerrel Jernigan

Troy wide receivers Jerrel Jernigan (3) and Terrell Bailey (9) celebrate the Trojans first touchdown against LSU during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

Troy wide receivers Jerrel Jernigan (3) and Terrell Bailey (9) celebrate the Trojans first touchdown against LSU during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

BIRDLAND – The bat phone rang early Wednesday morning.

It was a call about the Falcons’ private workout with Troy wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan.

He is moving up on a lot of draft boards and there is some concern that he might not be available with the Falcons pick in the second round.

It’s reasonable to conclude that the Falcons are going defensive end with the 27th pick in the first round.

But Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff, head coach Mike Smith and offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey don’t show up for everybody’s private workout unless the player is getting serious consideration. They were all at Jernigan’s workout on Wednesday.

During the combine, in an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Smith said he wanted more explosive plays from the offense.

“Creating the explosive play is an area where we have to improve,” Smith said. “[Explosive plays are defined as ones that gain 20 yards or more.] Really, creating those explosive plays are very similar to the turnover ratio. If you are giving up a lot of explosive plays, it doesn’t really matter how many that you get. You want to win the explosive [play] ratio just like you do the turnover ratio.”

Well, Mr. Jernigan is a stick of dynamite waiting to explode. Check out his video!

He’s run a low of 4.32 in the 40-yard dash and a high of 4.55. So, basically, he’s an move/slot receiver in the Percy Harvin mold. He played quarterback in high school and was used in Troy’s version of the Dirty Bird (Wildcat). He led Eufaula (Ala.) High School to two Region 5A championships, 2005 and 2006.

At the NFL scouting combine, Jernigan was asked to compare himself to current receiver.

“I would have to say DeSean Jackson,” Jernigan said.  “At Troy, I didn’t get a lot (of press coverage). I can get off of press, but I just didn’t see it a lot in the conference I played in. But I can get off press. I can play outside or inside.”

He also is a kickoff and punt return prospect.

At Troy, Jernigan used to practice against defensive back Leodis McKelvin, who was selected with the 11th pick by Buffalo in 2008.

“Yeah, that and the practice time I put in and going up against other corners like Patrick Peterson my sophomore year – it was his freshman year,” Jernigan said.

Jernigan was asked to describe what a team would be getting if they selected him.

“No. 1, they’ll get a hard worker throughout, 24-7,” Jernigan said. “I’ll do anything to get a win. They’ll get a good receiver, special teams and a team player.”

He returned punts for the first time as a senior and returned kickoffs since his sophomore season.

“I enjoy it a lot,” Jernigan said. “I just love the ball in my hand.”

He caught 84 passes for 822 yards and six touchdowns. He had 10 catches for 209 yards against Arkansas State on Sept. 25. He also had three touchdowns rushing, one kickoff return touchdown and one punt return touchdown.

Of course, playing in the NFL has been a longtime goal.

“I always said as a little boy playing (youth) football that I wanted to be in the NFL one day,” Jernigan said. “Here I am. I’ve got a chance.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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40 comments Add your comment

Felix

March 17th, 2011
1:15 pm

Am I first? whoa

waynester

March 17th, 2011
1:25 pm

Would really love to see this kid in ATL along with Randall Cobb and a RB like Todman. All have great speed and seem to be decent kids, however, I don’t know about taking any of them at #27.If we do a trade with OAK(swap their 2nd and 3rd rounders for #27) we could probably get all 3 of these guys without reaching a bit and still have a pick left in the 3rd. If we stay put at #27 it sharply decreases the chances of us taking any of the three….

Paddy

March 17th, 2011
2:36 pm

How big is this receiver?

chem

March 17th, 2011
3:19 pm

5′9″ 190 lbs. You should include this type of info in the article

Poor McKay

March 17th, 2011
3:20 pm

~5′9″ according to ESPN.

The Real Falcon

March 17th, 2011
3:36 pm

Draft the kid, late.

fanATicaL

March 17th, 2011
3:44 pm

What happen to Lockette ? alittle taller ,alittle bigger . With just as much speed

suwaneefalcon

March 17th, 2011
3:57 pm

Size is a factor here with a 1st round selection. Is he more important then a DE in the 1st round?

Cheesehead

March 17th, 2011
4:07 pm

Enter your comments here

Nathan Darling

March 17th, 2011
5:48 pm

I defintley want Titus YOung if this guy is only 5′9 he is small than Turner.

SeenThisB4

March 17th, 2011
5:57 pm

He’s kinda of a midget, compared to the prototype NFL wideout, which is why the falcan’ts would probably select him with a 1 or 2.

JB

March 17th, 2011
7:35 pm

He’s probably excellent, but 822 on 84 catches with six TD’s for Troy doesn’t blow me away.

Navarre Trojan

March 17th, 2011
8:49 pm

I’ve watched him since he came to Troy. This kid is the real deal. He plays MUCH bigger than his 5′9″ frame allows. He has GREAT hands and is a BULLET in traffic. Please check out some of his videos, he also has great balance and loves to go across the middle. If he is available by mid 2nd round I will be really surprised. He would love to be a Falcon and join ex-teammate and college roommate, Bear Woods.

Should've moved up last yr for CJ Spiller

March 17th, 2011
10:06 pm

Should have gone explosive last year and moved up to get CJ Spiller. Put his speed with Turner and let CJ return kicks. CJ and Matt would have hooked up well.

Oh well, oh well. Now they see Speed is essential.

[...] Bluetooth Compact Flash on [...]

OB/DB

March 18th, 2011
12:13 am

With what the Falcons already have this guy is the perfect fit. Thaay have to get this guy!!!!!! Maybe trade a 2012 3rd rounder and swap a 2011 2nd rounder or maybe trade Norwood but get this guy in the second round! Take A. Bailey, C. Jordan, J J Wyatt or C. Heywood with the first, get this kid in the second. D.J. Williams from Ark. in the 3rd, trake and get Auburn OT Luke Zemba in the 4th, Anthony Allen in the 5th, that Williams corner from Texas in the 6th and D. Gamble LB UGA in the 7th. We stay relatively injury free and the BIRDS are in the SUPER BOWL.

[...] 1 Gigabyte Flash on [...]

JMF

March 18th, 2011
12:53 am

With all the DE’s going in the 1st round do we really expect to get someone who can start? Also what is the problem with Sidbury? Frankly I would like speed on offense. Don’t get me wrong we need to improve our pass rush but is that going to come with the 27th pick?

tjhook

March 18th, 2011
1:10 am

After watching the video, Jernigan is built like Terrance Mathis but reminds me of Mike Pritchard who starred for the Falcons in the 1990s. Mularkey might waste his talent but he us worth a first-rounder.

suwaneefalcon

March 18th, 2011
7:35 am

JMF, you maybe right about the DE at the 27th pick. If the Falcons can go F/A and get what they need then so be it. I would like this kid with the pick but, I think it is a high risk. As far as Sidsbury, I thought it came out last year he was struggling with the defensive schemes. I could be wrong.

P@L=N_ATL

March 18th, 2011
7:49 am

the guys too small. plus he didnt really blow anyone away at troy as i remember. his stats were normal.

Paddy

March 18th, 2011
7:55 am

suwaneefalcon….you may be correct on Sidsbury. If they are looking for a DE in the first round they must believe that he is just an extra guy on that d-line. Too bad, many of us had high hopes for that kid. But we still have Jamal Anderson to save the day!

Mikefalcon63

March 18th, 2011
7:59 am

Sounds a lot like what we are supposed to be getting out of Harry Douglas to me. Short guy with speed, but if you read nfldraftcountdown.com, he is NOT a guy who stretches the field.

RomeDawg

March 18th, 2011
8:18 am

He caught 84 passes for 822 yards…..anyone else notice that he didn’t seem to have “explosive plays” often with an average of less than 10 yards per catch?

TommyP

March 18th, 2011
9:20 am

Too small, not enough explosion. Much rather have Cobb in the 2nd than this kid.

Larry

March 18th, 2011
10:45 am

RomeDawg

I did. He clearly doesn’t have separation speed and whomever clocked him at 4.32 started the stop watch about .2 seconds before he left the blocks!

Larry

March 18th, 2011
10:48 am

oops! …AFTER he left the blocks!

Long week.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 18th, 2011
10:54 am

He was measured 5-foot-8 and weighed 185 pounds at the combine.

McBubba

March 18th, 2011
11:00 am

Torrey Smith is an option at wideout, as well, I would think. If Ryan Kerrigan isn’t available at 27, I think Dimitroff should consider trading down..the Pats have a couple second rounders, or maybe just try to grab an extra 2nd and a 3rd rounder…

Larry

March 18th, 2011
11:06 am

“As far as Sidbury, I thought it came out last year he was struggling with the defensive schemes…”

After two years as a DE? Must be a real dummy if true.

Coaches: “Sid, whoever has the ball in their hands on the other team, tackle him, OK?

Sid: “Got it!” (10 seconds later) “Uh, so when I see someone….uh….uh….uh…say it again!”

This is how a community organizer who has never led, run or owned anything gets elected President during one of the most devastating economic times in history…but he can fill out an NCAA bracket, can’t he?

Larry

March 18th, 2011
11:10 am

5′8″

I’m going to hire him to crawl under my bed to get my favorite shoes I can’t reach!

blord

March 18th, 2011
11:52 am

I sort of agree with TommyP. I think if the option is there i would rather have Cobb. Also, good observation RomeDawg

D Money

March 18th, 2011
1:50 pm

@Larry… Your post at 11:10 am was worthless at best. We’re talking about the Falcons not politics.

Anywho, this type of WR is not who I expected the Falcons to look for. I was thinking (hoping) that they would look for a true number two, someone that would push Jenkins. This is just a smaller Harry Douglas.

Falcons relax...

March 19th, 2011
9:48 am

Larry keep politics out of this. FOOTBALL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS. Don’t try and satirize obamas background and resume and not bring up McCains 90% voting along as Bush. McCain= Bush 2.0 and don”t get me started on palin. Shooting wolves in your spare time while you were a mayor of a town no more than like 2000 persons, thinks Africa is a country, didn”t know any of Bushs policies, and can’t name the 4 presidents on mount rushmore, etc. Typical republican, shoot down the other side WHEN YOU GOT US HERE.

Glad TD doesn’t think that way, we would be the new bills. Back to football, WHERE THIS SHOULD BE ABOUT ANYWAY, I don’t want the guy. Let me take that back, I don’t want him in the first 4 rounds because we don’t need a WR that early. CB to me is more important than WR IMO. Take Kerrigan, Pouncey, or trade back

Ken Strickland

March 19th, 2011
3:50 pm

LARRY isn’t interested in politics, he’s only interested in expressing his racist confederate minded views. This is all he’s brought to any forum he’s been on, period. Just ignore anything this ANAL MINDED MORON has to say, because he’s yet to demonstrate an ability to express anything intelligent and meaningful, just racially insensitive BS.

Actually, it just thrills me to no end tot see ignorant trash like him constantly being eaten up with disgust over the UNITED STATED OF AMERICA HAVING A BLACK PRESIDENT. EAT YOUR HEART OUT YOU RACIST MORON, BECAUSE YOU’VE WITNESSED A PART OF HISTORY THAT TURNS YOUR RACIST BS UPSIDE DOWN.

geno

March 19th, 2011
3:55 pm

Get this guy, he’s a playmaker. Stop screwing around, and get Matty Ice some more help!!!

David harrison

March 19th, 2011
4:06 pm

There is always that one player that won’t get drafted high or be a free agent and has a a lot to prove. That player is Vidal Hazelton. This kid as ranked the # 1 Wide Receiver in the Nation coming out of HS. He was ranked above Percy Harvin. We need a player like this. Things went sour for him in college. you heard it here first. This kid will show up the AJ Green and Julio Jones in the NFL. Someone will get a bargain for this pick. I have seen him. He’s the complete receiver. Blocks like hell, great route runner and very physical. ESPN said it. He is the Best Player not invited to the Combine. Check this reel on him. make sure to look at his practice stuff at the end of the reel. This kid got great ball skills. http://www.govidal.com

Ken Strickland

March 19th, 2011
4:28 pm

Two of our 3 starting LB’s are FA’s, and OLB MPeterson is 35 and past his prime. So, even if he’s resigned he needs to be replaced as a starter. If we’re unable to resign OLB SNicholas, we’d only have SWitherspoon, CWire, who has issues with pass coverage, SAdkins, who lacks experience beyond special teams, and RJames, who’s undersized and lacks experience beyond special teams.

Add this to the fact that 3 of our starting OLinemen are FA’s, how could anyone possibly consider a 3rd string RB, WR or DE a bigger 1st rd need over LB or OL? Drafting a LB with pass rushing skills would solve at least 2 of our LB problems.

The more I go over this the more I’m starting to jump on the trade down scenario. I’ve seen mocks that have OC/OT MPouncey falling into the top part of the 2nd rd. If we could get a high 2nd, and a 3rd rd pick, we could bundle the 3rd rd pick we acquired in the trade with our current 2nd to move up into the upper part of the 2nd rd.

That should give us a perfect chance to get the quality OLineman we need, and the quality LB/pass rusher we need.

Tallcarl

March 20th, 2011
1:30 pm

Thank you guys for explaining to the haters that this blog is for football and not negative things of any sort. David H. good web site on Vidal Hazelton. This is the kind of receiver needed in the NFL for a true number one or two. We will have plenty of opportunity pick the small fast experiment in the late rounds. If Roddy White get hurt we have no one to step up. The good teams have two number one receivers.