Giants could form fierce defensive line with this second-round prospect

Michigan Wolverines defensive lineman Kris Jenkins (Giants)
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have one of the best defensive players in the NFL in Dexter Lawrence. But alongside him, there is a clear lack of depth on Big Blue’s defensive line. They traded away another Pro Bowler on the front line in Leonard Williams mid-way through the 2023 season, leaving a void in the front four.

In the second round of this year’s draft, the Giants could target a stellar defensive line prospect to fill that void and form one of the best defensive lines in the NFL next season. Michigan defensive lineman Kris Jenkins could be available for the taking with one of New York’s two second-round picks and would fill a big need in the defensive lineup.

Giants could target Michigan IDL Kris Jenkins in the draft

The Giants hold two second-round picks in this year’s draft (No. 39 and No. 47). With one of those selections, they could address one of their needs on defense. Upfront on the defensive line, New York needs to add some talent to play alongside Lawrence. Targeting Jenkins could add depth and production to the line.

Jenkins is a 6-foot-3, 275-pound lineman who excels against the run and is developing as a pass rusher. In 2023, he totaled 37 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks for Michigan’s National Championship-winning defense.

Jenkins is the fourth-ranked interior defender on Pro Football Focus’ Big Board, making him a solid value selection in the second round. PFF’s Trevor Sikkema describes Jenkins as “a powerful player in the middle of a defense.

“His run-defense abilities give him a very high floor as a projected pro,” Sikkema writes. “While his pass-rush production won’t pop out at you, it is improving.”

With a rare blend of athleticism and power, Jenkins has the ability to play on the interior of the defensive line while also kicking out to the edge in a 4-3 defensive front. In new defensive coordinator Shane Bowen’s multiple-front defensive scheme, this will be a valuable trait to possess.

The Giants’ defense run-defense has been inconsistent in recent seasons, largely due to a lack of depth and talent in the trenches. Drafting Jenkins would give New York a solid young defender for DL coach Andre Patterson to develop. Jenkins’ skillset would be a perfect fit for the Giants’ new defensive scheme and he should be an intriguing target on day two of the 2024 NFL Draft.

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