Browns Draft Prospect: Michigan defensive tackle Kris Jenkins

The 6-foot-3 defensive tackle from Michigan could be a great fit for the Cleveland Browns in the 2024 Draft.

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Kris Jenkins, a 6’3, 305-pound defensive tackle, helped lead the Michigan Wolverines to a National Championship title in 2024. Jenkins was a three-star recruit out of high school, the 19th-ranked prospect in the State of Maryland, and committed to the University of Michigan in 2020. 

Once at Michigan, Jenkins made one appearance for the Wolverines his Freshman year. His time significantly increased his sophomore year, playing in all 14 games, starting four, and recording 22 total tackles. In the 2021 Big Ten Championship game, Jenkins recorded two total tackles and helped advance Michigan to the College Football Playoffs Semifinals. Jenkins recorded seven total tackles in Michigan's CFP loss to Georgia in the Orange Bowl.

He continued to grow as a player and leader in his Junior year at Michigan, recording 54 total tackles, three and a half tackles for loss, and two sacks through 14 starts. Michigan was once again the East representative in the Big Ten Championship, where Jenkins recorded two total tackles in the Wolverines' 43-22 defeat of the Purdue Boilermakers. Jenkins racked up four tackles in the College Football Playoffs Semifinal against TCU, but the Wolverines fell short, losing the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl 45-51. Jenkins was an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection for his efforts on the field in 2022.

Jenkins’ most decorated year came in 2023 when he recorded 36 total tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks, a fumble recovery, and an interception through 15 games. He recorded four tackles, one fumble recovery, and a quarterback hit in the Big Ten Championship game against Iowa. In the College Football Playoffs Semi-Final, Jenkins racked up two tackles, a tackle for loss, and a sack in Michigan's 27-20 Rose Bowl victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide.

In Michigan’s 27-20 National Championship victory over the Washington Huskies, Jenkins recorded two tackles. Jenkins was named a second-team All-American (AFCA, FWAA), third-team All-American (AP, the Athletic, CBS Sports), and second-team All-Big Ten in 2023. 

Jenkins’ noted strengths according to Bleacher Report: 

  •  Against the run, takes on blocks with good pad level and a wide base. Hard to move one-on-one.
  • Has pop in his hands to stand up offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage and has little to no issues getting extension.
  • Good at adjusting his eyes and hands against down-blocks to avoid getting kicked inside.
  • Can escape blocks with a nice swim move, especially when slanting.
  • Also makes tackles with offensvie linemen hanging onto him.
  • Was listed as No. 6 on Bruce Feldman's list of exceptional college athletes with his impressive weight room and athletic testing numbers, giving him a higher ceiling in the NFL.

Jenkins’ noted weaknesses:   

  • Further he lines up away from the center, the later he reacts to the snap and the worse his get-off gets. Becomes an issue against quicker offensive linemen, as they'll get into his body and make the first significant contact.
  • Slower get-off and lack of leg drive on his bull rush make it more difficult for him to collapse the pocket.
  •  Rarely attempted finesse moves as a pass-rusher and had poor use of hands on the few reps he did try to work a move.
  • Struggles against double-teams, as he doesn't anticipate them coming and stops his feet on contact.
  • Unproductive and wasn't much of a factor as a pass-rusher in college with only a few career sacks and not many pressures.

Kris Jenkins compared to other 2024 prospects: 

Kris Jenkins - Michigan Wolverines - 6’3 - 305 lbs

  • 44 Games 
  • 112 Total Tackles ( 54 Solo - 58 Assisted - 8 For Loss)
  • 4 Sacks 
  •  1 Interception 
  • 1 Fumble Recovery 

Jer’zhan Newton - Illinois Fighting Illini - 6’2 - 295 lbs

  • 44 Games 
  • 187 Total Tackles (80 Solo - 107 Assisted - 27.5 For Loss)
  • 18 Sacks 
  • 5 Passes Defended 
  • 2 Forced Fumbles 
  • 3 Fumble Recoveries

Leonard Taylor III - Miami Hurricanes - 6’3 - 305 lbs

  • 28 Games 
  • 64 Total Tackles (25 Solo - 39 Assisted - 22.5 For Loss)
  • 6 Sacks 
  • 1 Interception 
  • 1 Pass Defended

Byron Murphy II - Texas Longhorns - 6’1 - 307 lbs

  • 34 Games 
  • 70 Total Tackles (32 Solo - 38 Assisted - 15 For Loss)
  • 8 Sacks

Brandon Dorlus - Oregon Ducks - 6’3 - 290 lbs

  • 57 Games 
  • 112 Total Tackles (58 Solo - 48 Assisted - 27 For Loss) 
  • 12 Sacks
  • 13 Passes Defended 
  • 1 Fumble Recovery 

While Jenkins’ launch, reaction time, and finesse are areas of concern, his strength, hands, and ability to stop the run make him a perfect fit for the Cleveland Browns defense.  

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