After turning in 40 times in the mid 4.5-range and then failing to register in any of the other drills, the pre-Combine rumors of Malcolm Jenkins winding up as a safety in the NFL have picked up some considerable steam.
With NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock saying "the damage had been done" thanks to his less-than-stellar 40 time, the writing does appear to be on the wall for Jenkins.
Though he's been adamant about playing corner at the next level, a move to free safety may not exactly be a bad thing for Jenkins. There's prior precedent -- in fact you don't have to look any further than former Boilermaker Rod Woodson. Both have similar size and though Woodson is a little bit faster than Jenkins (okay, maybe considerably faster) and started his career at corner, he would end up having his best seasons as a safety in the NFL.
Sure, he may slide a little in the draft and thus cost himself some money, but getting drafted is just the first step of a long journey. Because he may move down the board a bit, there's also the bonus of going to a stable team where he'll have the opportunity to compete at corner instead of being pressed into an immediate role and forced to produce right away.
Ultimately, it comes down to whether or not he's a playmaker and I think we all know the answer to that question. At any rate, he'll get another chance to perform in front of GMs and scouts at the Buckeye Pro Day on March 13.