Kris Jenkins’ Draft Profile | Michigan, DT Scouting Report

Michigan DT Kris Jenkins has a freakish combination of physical tools, but can his scouting report lift him into Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft?

The Michigan Wolverines have gained a reputation for defensive talent production in recent years, and in the 2024 NFL Draft cycle, the scouting report of DT Kris Jenkins demands attention. Where does Jenkins rank in the 2024 class, and what is his ultimate ceiling?

Kris Jenkins Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 305 pounds
  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • School: Michigan
  • Current Year: Redshirt Junior

If you grew up watching the NFL in the 2000s and are wondering if you’ve seen the name “Kris Jenkins” before, it’s because you have.

Michigan’s Jenkins is the second of his name. The first was Kris Jenkins, a defensive tackle from Maryland, who was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft.

The elder Jenkins would play seven seasons with the Panthers and three with the New York Jets, earning two All-Pro bids and four Pro Bowl berths. The 6’4″, 360-pound DT was viewed as one of the best nose tackles of his generation, and now, his son is on the climb.

The younger Jenkins joined the Wolverines’ program as a three-star recruit in 2020 and redshirted his first year. But after building up his game in 2021, he emerged as a quality starter in 2022, racking up 54 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and two sacks.

In 2023, Jenkins sustained his strong play, logging 35 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, and an interception in a campaign that earned him second-team All-Big Ten honors at DT.

Somehow, Jenkins’ production doesn’t do justice to the talent he possesses — but he’s a known secret within Michigan’s walls.

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Jenkins was one of the top names on the 2023 edition of Feldman’s Freaks, with a documented 7.16 three-cone time, 9’8″ broad jump, and 34″ vertical. He’s also rumored to have done a Turkish get-up with a 170-pound dumbbell. In the 2022 cycle, Aidan Hutchinson dropped jaws with a 135-pound feat.

Jenkins is as rare as they come, physically. But how do his gifts translate to the field? That’s what we’re here to discuss.

Jenkins’ Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Freak physical talent with brute strength, power, and tenacity, maximized by leverage.
  • Twitched-up athlete with incredible energy in his upper body, which helps load power.
  • Sports an explosive first step out of his stance, violently throttling up momentum.
  • Has the searing lateral athleticism and range to freely stunt across gap alignments.
  • Elite lateral explosiveness helps him get to his spot quickly, maintaining positioning.
  • Energetic motion allows him to adjust rushing angles and redirect power off the snap.
  • With his burst, torque, mass, and proportional length, has immense raw power capacity.
  • Boasts elite take-on strength as a run defender, and can halt displacement in its tracks.
  • Has the combined lower-body and core strength to absorb double teams with ease.
  • Thick lower body and natural leverage allow him to eat combo blocks in run defense.
  • Places initial punches and extensions well in run defense, decoupling blocks with zeal.
  • Uses torquing capacity to swim over initial blockers and isolate 1-on-1 versus the run.
  • Has a degree of ankle flexion, which he can use to pinch pursuit angles as a stunner.
  • Has flashed the ability to win with quick swims and stack hump moves off clubs.
  • Can win with club-rip combos stunting inside, and has a great over-arching motor.

Weaknesses

  • Visibly lacks high-end foot speed and recalibration freedom in his lower body.
  • Too often halts his feet at contact, stalling out power drive and leg churn on rushes.
  • Sometimes fails to sustain proper pad level ahead of power rushes, nullifying the base.
  • At times, lacks a pass-rushing plan past initial power and can fade late in reps.
  • Still doesn’t have a deep counter arsenal and needs to flesh out his pass-rushing bag.
  • The upper and lower body sometimes lack sync on rushes, creating disjointed attempts.
  • In general, can be more proactive and anticipatory with his pass-rush counters.
  • Still learning how to sequence his rushing moves with consistency and precision.
  • Hand precision and energy load on successive counters have room to improve.
  • On occasion, gives up gap leverage as a run defender by prematurely flushing outside.
  • Can be torqued off his center of gravity by hyper-elite power threats at tackle.
  • Doesn’t have the elite hip flexibility to roll through gaps after winning with swims.
  • Lack of lower-body quickness can impact his ability to gear up and enter pursuit.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

On my 2024 NFL Draft board, Kris Jenkins grades out as a top-100 prospect and a potential top-75 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Testing could ultimately lift him into the top-50 conversation, and while Round 1 may be rich, he’s safely worthy of Day 2 capital.

Being the son of a former NFL All-Pro, it’s no surprise that Jenkins has some of the most enthralling tools in the class. He’s an incredibly explosive athlete off the snap, both laterally and vertically, and has suffocating strength at the point of attack.

Going further, with his burst, twitch, and mass, Jenkins can levy impressive amounts of power into his attacks, and as he trends up with his hand usage and energy efficiency, it’s exciting to think about the potential that remains unearthed.

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Having said this, that unearthed potential is just as much a cause for reservation. Even as a multi-year starter at Michigan, Jenkins still has plenty of room to improve his hand precision and sequencing as a pass rusher, as well as deepen his pass-rushing arsenal in general.

For NFL general managers, Jenkins will be an investment. He’s not the most consistent pass-rushing threat, but he’s a high-level run defender with the explosiveness, take-on strength, natural leverage, and anchoring ability to swallow blocks and limit displacement. And those same traits give him a pass-rushing upside.

As a 3-tech with stunting versatility as a pass rusher and 5-tech functionality on running downs, Jenkins has merit in the early rounds. He’s a stellar early-down defender on day one, and in time, he could grow to be an impact starter in both phases.

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