Who Is Kris Jenkins Jr.’s Dad? Remembering the Defensive Tackle’s Productive Career

Before his son was a freakishly athletic interior defensive lineman, Kris Jenkins Sr. had a fantastic NFL career cut short by injuries.

Kris Jenkins Jr. shouldn’t have to wait too long to hear his name called during the 2024 NFL Draft. A member of Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List,” Jenkins put together a strong college career at Michigan and should go at some point on Day 2. But Jenkins won’t be the first in his family to play in the NFL, as his father also enjoyed a productive pro career.

Who is Jenkins’ dad, and what kind of NFL career did he have?

Kris Jenkins Sr.’s Tremendous Playing Career Marred by Injury

The elder Jenkins grew up in Michigan but played his college football with the Maryland Terrapins when they were still in the ACC. He enjoyed a solid but not spectacular college career as a hulking nose tackle, racking up 9.5 sacks and 154 tackles across four seasons in College Park.

Jenkins was drafted in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers and immediately turned into a star pro.

After a strong rookie season, Jenkins took his game to another level en route to back-to-back All-Pro selections in 2002 and 2003. However, from there, injuries began to take their toll.

In 2004 and 2005, Jenkins played just five total games. A severe shoulder injury put him on injured reserve in 2004 before a torn ACL sidelined him the following year. Jenkins returned to form in 2006, making 41 tackles and a third career Pro Bowl.

The Panthers traded Jenkins to the Jets in 2008, where he was named a second-team All-Pro and made a fourth career Pro Bowl.

Again, the injuries began to pile up. Jenkins suffered torn ACLs in both 2009 and 2010 and was forced into an earlier-than-expected retirement.

Jenkins was one of the strongest football players you’ll ever see and routinely used that strength to bully opposing offensive linemen and clog running lanes. But he was also surprisingly quick and used that to get after the quarterback, racking up 24 sacks in his career.

Like Father, Like Son: Kris Jenkins Jr.’s Superb Athletic Profile

Like his father before him, the younger Jenkins is a freak athlete.

Despite being just 257 pounds when signing with Michigan, Jenkins played near 300 pounds last season. It’s possible that he could best his dad’s 33 reps on the bench press and will certainly put up better three-cone and shuttle times. In fact, it’s possible Jenkins could challenge the all-time NFL Combine three-cone and shuttle records for defensive tackles.

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Jenkins didn’t have the level of production his dad had in college, but he was stuck behind guys like Mazi Smith on the depth chart until this past season.

Pro Football Network has Jenkins ranked as the seventh-best defensive tackle prospect and No. 61 overall prospect in the draft, and he should hear his name called on Day 2.

All the 2024 NFL Draft resources you need — the draft order, the top QBs, the Top 100 prospects, and the full 2024 Big Board — right at your fingertips at Pro Football Network!

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