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New Orleans Saints Showing Interest in Michigan’s Defensive Lineman Kris Jenkins

Kris Jenkins, Jr. had an impressive Combine running a sub 5.0 in the 40 yard dash. Photo Credit: Kris Jenkins IG
Kris Jenkins, Jr. had an impressive Combine running a sub 5.0 in the 40 yard dash. Photo Credit: Kris Jenkins IG

In a move signaling their intention to bolster their defensive line, the New Orleans Saints dispatched their defensive line coach to the University of Michigan’s Pro Day, showcasing a significant interest in standout defensive lineman Kris Jenkins. The event, attended by an impressive array of NFL teams and personnel, underscored the high level of attention Michigan’s talent is commanding this draft season.

Michigan, fresh off a national championship and boasting a record 18 Combine invitees, witnessed a staggering turnout of NFL scouts, coaches, and executives at their Pro Day. Among the attendees were notable figures such as Jim Harbaugh, now with the Chargers, alongside Jesse Minter and Ben Herbert, highlighting the Wolverine’s strong representation in the NFL coaching ranks. The Saints, along with a select few teams, took particular interest in the defensive line talent on display, with Jenkins standing out as a prime target.

Kris Jenkins, heralded as one of the strongest players in the upcoming draft, has made a name for himself as a formidable run-stopper. He is the son of former Panthers defensive standout Kris Jenkins, Sr. His ability to withstand double teams and dominate one-on-one run-blocking situations places him in the 99th percentile for run-stop percentage. Jenkins’ explosive lateral movement allows him to disrupt plays behind the line, though questions about his arm length and pass-rushing prowess have stirred discussions about his fit at the NFL level.

Despite these concerns, Jenkins’ potential cannot be understated. With his high floor and starting capability, particularly in a 4-3 defensive scheme, he is projected as a mid-to-late Day 2 selection. Hailing from Olney, MD, Jenkins embodies the physicality and discipline needed to make an immediate impact at the professional level.

The Saints, in their strategic evaluation, are also keeping an eye on other Michigan defenders, including linebacker Junior Colson and Michael Barrett, both boasting impressive PFF grades and distinct playing styles that could enrich the Saints’ linebacker corps. Additionally, edge rushers Braiden McGregor and Jaylen Harrell present valuable options for New Orleans in the fifth round, aligning with the team’s draft capital and needs.

As the draft approaches, the Saints’ strategy appears to be crystallizing. With the potential to select Jenkins or one of the promising linebackers in the second round, and eyeing value picks among edge rushers in the fifth, New Orleans is positioning itself to make significant defensive enhancements. This draft season, Michigan’s defensive standouts, led by Kris Jenkins, could very well find their new home with the Saints, marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter in New Orleans’ defensive playbook.

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