Bengals to sign UDFA OL Jaxson Kirkland
The Cincinnati Bengals got their trip to undrafted free agency after the 2023 draft started with Washington guard Jaxson Kirkland.
The move, reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, might just have big upside. At one point, Kirkland was a prospect being mocked in the mid-rounds and his versatility and experience all over lines are traits the team will like.
Here’s a writeup from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
Kirkland is likely to ply his trade as a guard, but he might be able to step in at tackle in a pinch. His barrel-chested, high-cut frame looks out of place at guard. He is unable to generate the leverage or power needed as a downhill blocker but does a decent job on positional blocks on the move. In protection, bull rushers can get under him and drive him into the pocket, but he’s quick with his hands and can get on top of rushers quickly when he needs to. His pass protection background could bolster his chances as a Day 3 pick and future backup.
In a move that says a lot about how the team feels about the offensive line, the Bengals didn’t use even one of their eight picks on the positional unit.
That doesn’t mean the 6’7″ Kirkland doesn’t have a shot though, as he’ll compete with the likes of backups Max Scharping and Hakeem Adeniji for work on the interior.
Our whole undrafted free agency tracker is here.
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