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UDFA offensive lineman Jaxson Kirkland has been impressing coaches

Frank Pollack is a big fan of his huge undrafted free agent offensive lineman.

NCAA Football: Washington at California Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals may have found a diamond in the rough when they signed undrafted offensive lineman Jaxson Kirkland out of Washington. When they signed him, it seemed like a guy who needed some coaching up to really unlock his potential.

According to his coach, he is doing just that:

Kirkland is one massive individual. That almost worked against him during the draft process as there were many evaluators who saw his future as a guard in the NFL after playing tackle his college career. That size does make it hard to get the proper leverage as an inside blocker, though.

Cincinnati has experimented with Kirkland at both guard spots, and that gives him a much better shot at possibly sticking to the roster. His versatility to be able to kick inside but also come in as a tackle if necessary is invaluable on game day.

Kirkland doesn’t seem to be in danger of taking any starting spot along the line, but he could certainly push for a backup spot against the likes of Hakeem Adeniji, Cody Ford, Jackson Carman, and D’Ante Smith. Many of those guys also have the same versatility working for them, but several are closer to free agency without shining during their several opportunities.

It also could help that La’el Collins could be brought along slowly and kept on the physically unable-to-perform list to have an extra spot open on the 53-man roster for the beginning of the season.

Kirkland is having a promising start to impress his offensive line coach like this already. We will have to see how reps get divided up during the preseason to see if he impresses enough to work his way up to a safe spot on the depth chart. Until then, we may be watching the makings of a steal for the Bengals along the offensive line.