Bengals Sign Second-Round DT Kris Jenkins Jr.

The Bengals announced on Thursday that defensive tackle Kris Jenkins Jr. has signed his four-year rookie contract. All but one member of the team’s draft class is now on the books.

Jenkins was selected with the 49th pick, making him one of several interior defenders who heard their names called during the beginning of Day 2. He spent four seasons at Michigan, serving as an impactful member of the team’s defense from 2021-23. Jenkins drew attention based on his production but also his athletic profile over the course of his college career.

The 6-3, 300-pounder’s most productive season as a run defender came in 2022, when he posted 54 total stops. That figure fell last year, but Jenkins managed to up his tackle for loss and sack totals to 4.5 and 2.5, respectively. That made him a key starter on the Wolverines’ defense, a unit which played a central role in the team’s unbeaten campaign and national title.

In Cincinnati, Jenkins will look to earn at least a rotational role during his rookie campaign. The Bengals’ defensive front was dealt a blow when D.J. Reader departed in free agency. The four-year starter inked a deal with the Lions, creating a notable vacancy along the interior. By the time that took place, Cincinnati had worked out a two-year deal with Sheldon Rankins.

The latter will provide the Bengals with first-team reps at the DT spot. Cincinnati also has veteran B.J. Hill and 2022 third-rounder Zachary Carter in the fold at that position. Of course, the team followed up the Jenkins pick by taking McKinnley Jackson in the third round. Both rookies will spend training camp looking to carve out a role ahead of the regular season.

With the Jenkins deal now in place, only first-round offensive tackle Amarius Mims has yet to sign his rookie deal. An agreement on that front could take place before the end of the week, but if not both sides will likely wait until training camp opens next month to finalize it.

View Comments (0)