How Kris Jenkins fits with the Cincinnati Bengals

With the 49th pick in the NFL draft, the Cincinnati Bengals selected defensive tackle Kris Jenkins. Jenkins had 37 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three tackles for loss and one interception in 2023. He is the second Michigan player to be selected, and the first in the second round.

This is a great fit for Jenkins. Cincinnati lost its best defensive tackle, D.J. Reader, to the Detroit Lions in free agency and needed another body in the middle to stuff the run. That is something Jenkins excels at.

Jenkins isn’t the most intimidating player (6 feet, 3 inches and 299 pounds), but he has much more power than one expects. He will take over duties as a three-technique defensive tackle and work to close run lanes and keep quarterbacks from scrambling up the middle.

The Bengals have a strong pass-rush duo on the roster (potential trade pending): Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard come off the edge. This means Jenkins will probably frequently face single blockers in pass protection, which could help him make a bigger impact early in his career.

My evaluation pins Jenkins as a solid player who instantly improves the floor of Cincinnati’s defense. There isn’t an expectation for Jenkins to become a star, but he should factor in right away and provide a steady, physical presence in the middle of the defense. He will not put up gaudy sack numbers, but that’s fine for a player who was drafted for his consistency and floor.

The biggest knock on Jenkins was his lack of production in college, but that can largely be chalked up to the fact that Michigan’s defensive line rotated so much that he only really played half the season. His impact was felt beyond the stats at Michigan and it should be the same way in the NFL.

Oh, and one more thing. Jenkins knows how to win in Ohio.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire