The Cincinnati Bengals never addressed the offensive line during the draft, but if they are intent on keeping offensive tackle Jonah Williams, they really didn’t need to.
Instead, they waited until after the draft to sign Washington Huskies offensive guard Jaxson Kirkland.
Kirkland earned Third-Team AP All-American and First-Team All-Pac-12 honors this past season while not allowing a single sack. He was given a Round 6-7 draft projection from NFL.com.
Former Washington G Jaxson Kirkland is signing with the #Bengals, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 29, 2023
Kirkland played tackle at Washington but will be kicking inside for Cincinnati. The Bengals certainly have their starters along the inside with Alex Cappa, Cordell Volson, and Ted Karras. However, depth will always be necessary there as well.
Kirkland needs some serious development. He played right guard before starting at left tackle, but there is going to be a huge learning curve. He has the long arms and awareness to be helpful along the offensive line, but his technique needs some serious cleaning up. He was a captain and looks like the glass-eating type, but we will have to see if he sticks to the roster.
It is very likely Kirkland is competing more for a spot on the practice squad as a potential emergency call-up in case of injury. If everything pans out, he could eventually find his way onto the actual roster, but first offensive line coach Frank Pollack will have to get his hands on him.
Washington Guard Jaxson Kirkland is signing with Cincinnati as a UDFA— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 29, 2023
ZERO sacks allowed last season (491 pass block snaps) pic.twitter.com/e0XhENf6kf